Twins celebrate 90 years with family

Hannelore HepburnHarvey-Waroona Reporter

IT was the “biggest and best party ever” when twins Betty Gwilt and Ted Atkins celebrated their 90th birthday in Australind on April 30 surrounded by family.

One brother, aged 92, joined the celebration while a 97-year-old brother phoned from Canberra to wish them all the best.

The siblings’ parents married at the Anglican Church in Harvey after coming out from England and had their first set of twin daughters in 1916 but they sadly died at three weeks of age.

Two more sons were born and the family moved to Bunbury and then later moved on to Perth. Mrs Gwilt and her brother were born on April 30, 1927, and Mrs Gwilt later lived for 25 years in the Eastern States and New Zealand with her husband, an Anglican Church minister

Mr Atkins travelled up north where he worked as a cabinetmaker.

Mrs Gwilt is still living independently in Treendale after her husband died and Mr Atkins lives with his wife Coral in Mandurah.

Mrs Gwilt believes growing up with healthy food and good genetics played a part in the longevity of the four surviving siblings.

“Ted and I were sparring partners as children and teens,” Mrs Gwilt said. “We are very different but always remained close.

“Ted is an avid Dockers supporter and loves watching sport while I was involved in the church – when it came to church time he was running out into the bush.

“We don’t agree on politics, so we don’t discuss it but we both love gardening and family.

“As the only girl among four brothers, I was quite bossy and Ted is a very good brother, who always visited me wherever I was.

“We don’t get together very often now but we make the best of it when we can.”

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