Clarence family celebrates Yvonne still going strong at 90 party
THE matriarch of a family with long links to the Clarence will celebrate her 90th birthday today.
Yvonne Chard (Watkins) was born on April 22, 1930 and was the eldest daughter of Sam and Sarah Watkins. She was brought up on a dairy farm in Ulmarra along with her four brothers, Snowy, Dennis, Rex, Alan and one sister Gwen Thompson.
In 1950 20-year-old Yvonne married Ronald Chard; they moved to a property at Swan Creek for several years and then to Deep Creek road Ulmarra to begin their own dairy farm.
Ron went out to work as a carpenter during the day to supplement the family income, renovating houses in and around Ulmarra.
Yvonne, who could not drive, stayed at the property some miles from town, worked around the farm and grew a lot of fruit and vegetables which supplied the family with plenty of fresh produce along with chickens, pigs and ducks.
Growing up on the dairy farm in Ulmarra, Yvonne was a very capable and hard working woman, up each morning bright and early to milk the cows and then back to the house to look after her growing family followed by afternoon milking.
Yvonne and Ron had seven children, Dianne Moran, Pat Richardson, Rodney Chard, Beverly Sheraton, Janette Gray, Narelle Patrick and Darryl Chard.
She also has 22 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.
The family farm had to be sold back in the late 70s when Ron became too ill to continue working.
They moved to Grafton and spent many happy years travelling with trips to Tasmania, New Zealand and other tours with local pensioners until Ron could no longer travel.
Yvonne held the position of secretary of the Senior Citizens for 25 years and in 2012 was presented with a recognition award for many years of service.
Sadly after a long illness Ron passed away in 2003 and to this day Yvonne continues to live independently in the family home.
Yvonne's travelling days were not finished and in 2006 she enjoyed a wonderful overseas trip covering England, France, Greece and other European cities.
In 2012 Yvonne went on a seven day South Pacific Cruise with her five daughters in celebration of her 82nd birthday.
Sadly, due to the COVID-19 virus, Yvonne's 90th birthday celebrations had to be cancelled.
The party had been planned for 12 months in advance, the function had been booked and invitations sent out.
Yvonne received congratulatory messages from the Prime Minister, the NSW Premier and other special dignitaries.