Thea Halliday celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday at the Byron Bay Services Club. Next to her is her great-great grandniece, Briar May, 20, who came from New Zealand for the celebrations.
Thea Halliday celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday at the Byron Bay Services Club. Next to her is her great-great grandniece, Briar May, 20, who came from New Zealand for the celebrations.

Time for new cricket blood, says ton-up Thea

Dorothea Halliday, better known as Thea, has some timely advice for Australian cricket selectors – bring in some new blood.

She knows what she’s talking about. Thea turned 100 on Monday and has played – and watched – a lot of cricket in those years.

A self-confessed sports fanatic, she said Australia’s Ashes loss could prove to be a blessing for the side, giving selectors the chance to give younger players a go.

Thea also has a tip for racegoers as well. The Melbourne Cup is still a few months away, but Thea, who ‘loves’ the races, said this year could be trainer Gai Waterhouse’s year.

It’s a tip probably worth remembering, according to Evan Andrew, who is married to Thea’s niece, Annmarie, and who came from New Zealand to join a big crowd of friends to celebrate Thea’s birthday at the Byron Bay Services Club.

He says Thea has a good record when it comes to picking a winner or two.

Thea was born in India on August 24, 1909, where her father was based with the British civil service.

Thea excelled at sport, particularly hockey, cricket and tennis.

The family moved to New Zealand in 1932, with Thea moving to Sydney in 1938 where she worked as a secretary.

She married Harry Halliday in 1941. He died in 1970.

After previously holidaying in the area, Thea moved to Byron Bay in the mid-1970s and became heavily involved in community life.

Among other things, she was involved in the local garden club, the CWA, senior citizens activities, Uniting Church and was patroness of the Girl Guides and Brownies.

Today, Thea still leads an active life and is out every day of the week doing something, except Mondays when a cleaner comes to her home. On weekends she stays at home.

She has many friends in the town, as was evidenced by the big turn-out at her birthday lunch.

Thea embraced Byron Bay when she came to the town to live and the town and many of its people embraced her.

“I love it,” she said.

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