Port Macquarie has lost its oldest resident.
Nina Sylvia Kathleen Arnett, known as Sylvia, died at the age of 108 years and nine months.
She was the third oldest woman in Australia, the fifth oldest Australian and lived the 36th longest Australian life ever.
On the occasion of her 108th birthday, Sylvia, in her measured way, told the Port News: "Turning 108 is no different to turning 107".
Sylvia was a devoted mother-of-four, with seven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, and was a great friend to many.
The world changed enormously during Sylvia's life and she embraced those changes with an open mind.
Up until very recently, a quick FaceTime, Skype call, digital photos and on-demand music streaming were always of immense interest.
Sylvia's life journey started at Bannaby, near Goulburn, in 1911 as the third daughter to George and Willamena Connor.
Her childhood years in Bannaby were happy times including singalongs with family and friends gathered around the piano.
In 1928 at the age of 17, Sylvia met Norman Arnett, a handsome travelling salesman whom she married and shared the next 54 years of life with.
Sylvia often spoke of the challenges in the early years of her marriage - being as poor as a church mouse but as happy as can be.
The couple moved to Bowral, Goulburn and onto Hornsby in 1937 where they owned a Holden car dealership.
They established an orchid farm in Turramurra before moving to acreage in Castle Hill where they raised four children.
Their final Sydney residence was in Epping until 1974 when Sylvia and Norman settled in Port Macquarie.
At first, they lived in Parklands Avenue, then in a penthouse on Park Street, and finally in 1998, Sylvia moved to Garden Village after Norman passed away.
Garden Village was her much-loved home for 22 years where Sylvia was surrounded by her dearest friends who became her family.
Sylvia enjoyed the Port Macquarie climate, landscape, services, the sense of community and a strong Christian faith.
Sylvia believed if you looked good on the outside, you felt great on the inside.
She was physically active throughout her life, played tennis, bowls, and cards, and took the stairs two by two - and not just because it was faster.
Playing the piano and organ kept Sylvia busy, along with crocheting and knitting.
Sylvia had a healthy diet and took copious amounts of daily vitamins for most of her life.
She was just as meticulous in her appearance and presentation as she was on the inside.
Her thoughts were measured, logical and precise.
She had the ability to turn things around with her quick wit and always looked for the funny side of situations.
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