Cen­te­nar­ian keeps sweet out­look

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Health ex­perts tell us to avoid sug­ary treats if we want to live longer.

But it hasn’t made a dif­fer­ence for Marie Dyson who cel­e­brated her 100th birth­day on Satur­day.

‘‘She still en­joys lots of choco­late and lol­lies. Sugar hasn’t done her any harm,’’ daugh­ter De­bra Farn­don says.

Black cof­fee with two sug­ars and the oc­ca­sional glass of red wine are still on the menu as well.

Marie Dyson was born in York­shire, Eng­land, on Novem­ber 15, 1914.

It was a very dif­fer­ent world and she re­calls be­ing sent to the church down the road by her grand­mother to check the time on the clock be­cause no­body had a watch.

She was an avid Girl Guide and worked in a depart­ment store after leav­ing school at 14.

She mar­ried her hus­band Ken­neth on Au­gust 12, 1939.

‘‘We hadn’t been mar­ried long and he had to go off [to war],’’ she says. Ken­neth was in the navy. With the war came ra­tioning and life wasn’t easy for Marie and her fam­ily.

‘‘It made shop­ping quite an or­deal. We had to make do with what we had,’’ she says.

Pulling to­gether a Christ­mas din­ner might have meant shar­ing ra­tions with a neigh­bour.

Ken­neth worked in a wool mill and an of­fer of work in Columbia saw the fam­ily pack their bags and head to South Amer­ica.

They had two sons at that stage who were aged 6 and 11.

‘‘It was very poor and des­per­ate place. There were bars on the win­dows of the homes. They were bur­gled a cou­ple of times and kids would scoop out what they could through the bars with sticks,’’ Farn­don says.

In 1953 the fam­ily moved to Aus­tralia where they lived for about nine years and had two daugh­ters.

Another of­fer of work at a wool mill in Wellington brought Marie, Ken­neth and their daugh­ters to New Zealand.

They moved to One­hunga when the mill closed.

Marie has spent a lot of her life do­ing vol­un­tary work and has been an ac­tive mem­ber of St Peter’s Church in One­hunga.

She has six grand­chil­dren and two great-grand­chil­dren. She lived in­de­pen­dently un­til she was in her 90s and now lives at Sel­wyn Vil­lage.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Happy birth­day: Marie Dyson turned 100 on Novem­ber 15.

Back then: Marie Dyson in her younger days.

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