Hawkesbury Ambassador John Miller, OAM, has marked his milestone 90th birthday with a celebration at Loxley on Bellbird Hill.
Mr Miller was joined by his wife of 66 years, Beryl, their children Annette, Ken and Robyn, his seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren as well as his many friends for the grand celebration on his birthday, Sunday, April 14.
Residents of the Hawkesbury area for the past 64 years, Mr and Mrs Miller entered the celebration in style, with piper Ian Henry playing Scotland the Brave as the two made their way to their table hand-in-hand.
Jacinta Tobin performed a moving Welcome to Country for the guests, who then sang the national anthem before the Reverend Canon John Butler said grace.
Paul Maher opened the speeches and read an apology from well-known Hawkesbury locals. He also read a letter congratulating Mr Miller on behalf of Hawkesbury City Council signed by Mayor Barry Calvert, who said Mr Miller had "shown yourself to extremely genuine in your support for the local community".
Annette Watson, John's elder daughter, read a tribute to her father on behalf of the three siblings and family, what she called the "celebration of a life well lived and still living". Ms Watson described her father as a devoted husband, grandfather and great-grandfather, saying all three had grown up in a loving family environment where her parents always treated each other with love and respect.
Newly minted Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston delivered a speech outlining Mr Miller's early involvement with his community via the Scout movement, and read a handwritten card from Premier Gladys Berejiklian congratulating Mr Miller on "all you have done for you family, community and the people of NSW".
Mr Miller also received a gift of two bottles of wine signed personally by the Premier, one of which Ms Preston said was appropriately titled 'Rascal's Prayer'. Liberal candidate for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, then said a vote of thanks.
Mr Miller thanked all the speakers for their kind words, saying the day was a very memorable one for him.
"There is an old saying that if you can make one good sincere friend in your lifetime you have made a great achievement," he said. "When i look around this room today I think that I can safely say that I have achieved a little better than that.
"I love you all for your kind tolerance, understanding and friendship over many years. You have all been a great help to me during our friendship."
He also paid tribute to Mrs Miller, saying that his friends believed he was too young to get married when they met aged just 19 and 23 respectively, and that he should wait until he was 30.
"I told them that beryl would not be around by the time I was 30, as all of the fellows would have found out how wonderful she was and married her by then," he said.
"So I married her six months later ... I wanted to marry her a lot earlier, however Beryl said that she had to make a bloody dress first."
And, because it was his birthday and "I should be able to do anything that I want to do", he then sang a song to the woman he pledged to love in 1952, asking the audience to "tolerate the scratchy old worn out voice of a 90-year-old man on his last legs".