News Release

Frankston Pioneer Turns 100


On the day she was born Evelyn Shone’s future was uncertain. Both mother and baby’s lives hung in the balance; fortunately they survived. In birth as in life, Evelyn fought to hang on to life and on May 6th, 2019 she will celebrate her 100th birthday.

The centenary celebrations started last Sunday with a surprise lunch at the Frankston Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which Evelyn has been a member for over 60 years.

At the lunch, she jokingly shared her and her 102-year-old sister’s secret to a long life - “just keep breathing.”

“If you don’t use it, you lose it,” is also one of Evelyn’s mottos. She lives independently, still attends exercise classes and lives a healthy life free of alcohol, coffee and smoking.

One of Evelyn’s granddaughters Miranda King always believed there was more to her Nan’s longevity.

“I understood when I was young that the secret to Nan’s good health was staying busy and doing things for others,” says Miranda.

“Even with such a large family including great and great great grandchildren Nana never forgets a birthday card filled with stickers and a beautiful message. She is an example of strength and courage to all around her.”

Evelyn’s early life taught her resilience and the importance of family. Her father frequently moved the family around rural Victoria and Evelyn had to learn quickly how to deal with the challenges of life in the bush and new schools.

Leaving school at 13 during the depression, Evelyn learned to sew from her mother and became an excellent seamstress, working to help provide for her family. It was at one of these jobs that she met her future husband Bill Shone, when she was just 14 years old.

She married Bill at age 21 on December 28th, 1940. A year later their first child, Sandra was born, followed by another daughter Lynne. After the war, the Shones moved to Frankston and lived on two acres in a small house that Bill built. Their family grew to eight over the next few years with the addition of three sons, another daughter, and a number of adopted wild and domestic animals.

“Although the road we lived on is now in fashionable South Frankston, in those days it was the bush,” remembers Sandra Reeves, Evelyn’s eldest daughter.

“There was no electricity and water came from a tank at the corner of the house or a well some distance from the house along a bush track.”

Evelyn has remained in Frankston until this day. Over almost 80 years she has seen the area transform from a small country town to the mini-metropolis it is today.

One of the most pivotal and lasting decisions she made in life was becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with two of her daughters in 1958. At that time there were only about eight families attending meetings held at the local Mechanics Hall.

Evelyn and Sandra have remained active members ever since and have found peace through their faith in difficult times.

Evelyn’s faith and courage continues to inspire members of her church community as well as her large family, which now includes 24 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren.

“Like many women of her day, she has devoted her life to her family,” says Sandra. “Her grandchildren adore her because she gives of herself and her time to them.”

“Though difficult to follow, we strive to follow her example of strength, hard work, energy, unselfishness, endurance, patience and courage."

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