LONG LIFE: 90-year-old Tabeel Aged Care resident Sybil Bottomley credits plenty of travelling for her long life. Picture: Dominic Elsome
LONG LIFE: 90-year-old Tabeel Aged Care resident Sybil Bottomley credits plenty of travelling for her long life. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Jet-setting artist shares advice for a long, happy life

SYBIL Bottomley has enjoyed craft her whole life - from learning stitching from her mother, to her most recent Diamond Paintings.

The 90-year-old Tabeel Age Care resident said she didn’t have a favourite type of craft work as she loved them all.

“(I’ll do) anything. Well, mainly stich work,” Sybil said.

It’s been a part of her life right from the beginning in her home country of New Zealand and during her lifetime she’s picked up many other skills.

“(Mum) taught us how to knit and sew and that sort of thing but anything else out of the ordinary, I went to groups,” she said.

Sybil and her second husband Malcolm moved across the ditch to Terrigal in New South Wales in 1988 when they retired.

After a number of years there, they decided to make the move up to Laidley.

“Malcolm wanted to come to Queensland – so we just packed up and drove up in two vehicles,” she said.

Tabeel Aged Care resident Sybil Bottomley’s art work. Picture: Dominic Elsome
Tabeel Aged Care resident Sybil Bottomley’s art work. Picture: Dominic Elsome

During her life before moving to Australia, she travelled a lot with Malcolm who worked as a translator.

Destinations included Malcolm’s home of Argentina, along with England, Canada and the United States.

One of her favourite trips was when they spent two months in Munich, Germany.

“(Malcolm) wanted to perfect his German. He felt it wasn’t quite up to scratch so we went to Munich,” she said.

While there, Malcolm attended the Goethe-Institute to improve his German, and Sybil went along as well.

“I went too but just because I had to go somewhere. He didn’t want to let me loose on my own in the shops,” she laughed.

She and Malcolm met at a dance in New Zealand, and she said he was a bit of a smooth talker.

“We just met – he came over and asked me to dance and that was it,” she said.

After 90-years of life, Sybil is still enjoying herself, recently finishing more Diamond Paintings including one of a kitten she plans to give to a friend who loves cats.

She says there’s a simple way to stay young at heart and live a long life – travel more.


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