According to Shylie O’Brien, who turns 100 on June 21, the secret to a long life – and is too late for most people – is eating plenty of salt and drinking a bottle of ink as a two year old.
And perhaps the occasional swig of creme de menthe.
Known for sipping a on a cup of the green, minty beverage before playing bowls at the Kirton Point Bowling Club, Mrs O’Brien became quite active in the community after moving to Port Lincoln about 40 years ago.
Born Shylie Patricia Solly on June 21, 1918, Mrs O’Brien grew up in a town named Templers, about 15 kilometres north of Gawler.
After leaving school at about 15 or 16, she worked as a cow milker and then a barmaid before marrying Jack O’Brien in September, 1940.
She had all four of her children in Naracoorte, and after her husband died in 1974 she moved to Port Lincoln to live near her eldest daughter.
Mrs O’Brien was involved in the Royal Flying Doctor Service for over 20 years, as well as taking up positions with and being a member of the Australian Plant Society, Southern Eyre Peninsula Friends of the Parks and the Probus club.
”I always like to go out in the scrub and camp...and I still do,” Mrs O’Brien said.
Mrs O’Brien, a keen bowls player, said she had played bowls across every state in Australia besides Tasmania.
“I’ve been to Kangaroo Island...does that count?,” she said.
She said being in nature helped with longevity and her most interesting experiences had been meeting different people and listening to their stories.
Mrs O’Brien said she would celebrate her birthday with a “five day” party.