Isobella Robley – Wyong Centenarian

Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate, Wednesday 15 March and Thursday 16 March 1944.

Many Greetings to Wyong Centenarian

WYONG, Wednesday.— The Governor-General (Lord Gowrie) and Lady Gowrie sent greetings today to Mrs Isobella Robley, of Byron-street, Wyong, on her 100th birthday. Blind for 14 years, Mrs Robley was unable to read the greeting telegram. It was read to her by her daughter.

Mrs Robley received scores of presents. Messages included a letter from the Premier (Mr McKell). Mrs Robley had two birthday cakes made for her – one, with 100 candles; and the other sent by the District Pioneers’ Association. From early morning telegraph messengers and postmen were kept busy with greetings.

Of a remarkably bright disposition, Mrs Robley can converse on any subject. She takes a lively interest in the progress of the war.

Although she has been blind for a number of years, there are many little duties she undertakes and carries out efficiently. She has full use of her other faculties, and enjoys good health.

Mrs Robley was born at Stockport, England, and came to Australia when she was 12. Her maiden name was Ranisden. She married Mr John Robley, who died 12 years ago. – Of a family of six, Mrs Garratt and Mr George Robley, both of Wyong, are the only survivers.

“Gran Robley” as she is affectionately known gave her services for many years as a midwife in Ourimbah and Wyong districts. She also did other nursing and first-aid in the early days. She made many trips on horseback on nights so dark that she could not see the tracks over the mountains from Kangy Angy to Dooralong.

Robley Isobella_Wyong_100

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The news of Mrs Robley’s milestone birthday was published in many newspapers throughout Australia. Here’s an article printed in The Mail, Adelaide, Saturday 18 March 1944.

Youth Not Changed Says Centenarian

SYDNEY.— Boys and girls of 50 years ago drank as much as the youth of today, said 100-year-old Mrs Isabella Robley, of Wyong, today.

“Yes, girls lined up at the bars in those days,” she added. “Youth hasn’t changed, and I don’t agree with those prudes who say Australia has gone to the dogs because of its lack of morals and high living.”

Mrs Robley was 100 on Wednesday. She has been blind for 14 years. When a congratulatory telegram from Lord and Lady Gowrie was read to her, she said, “It is simply beautiful for the King’s representative to think of me. Oh, dear, it is wonderful.”

Mrs. Robley’s late husband had the first licences of one Gosford hotel, and two in Wyong, but she has never smoked nor drunk alcohol.

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A report of Mrs Robley’s death appeared in the Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate, Monday 7 August 1944.

Death of Wyong Centenarian

WYONG, Sunday.— Mrs Isabella Robley, who celebrated her 100th birthday in March, died at her home in Byron-street, Wyong, yesterday.

Born in England, she lived in the Brisbane Water district for 88 years. For years she had been blind. On her 100th birthday she received at congratulatory message from the Governor-General (Lord Gowrie) on behalf of the King.

With her husband Mr John Robley; who died 16 years ago, she held the first hotel licence in Wyong. Before, that she held a licence at Gosford.

She was buried in Lisarow Cemetery this afternoon. Rev. F. Ballance (Church of England) officiated.

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 Sources: Wyong Museum & Historical Society ArchivesTrove Digital Newspaper Archive.


2 thoughts on “Isobella Robley – Wyong Centenarian

  1. Pingback: Bush Wives & Midwives | Wyong District Pioneers Association

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