Good stock for long life
Experts say eating your vegetables and staying away from cigarettes are the keys to a long and healthy life.
But Irene Doyle says it’s simply a matter of good genes.
The Sandringham resident celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.
She has lived a life full of friends, family, love and service to the community.
“I come from a long-living family,” she says.
“My father was Canadian and he always said we came from good stock.”
Mrs Doyle was born Irene Luney in Lyttleton, England, on November 10, 1908.
Her family migrated to New Zealand when she was four years old and settled in Christchurch.
When Irene was 18, her mother died and she took on the responsibility for her five brothers and sisters.
She met her first husband George Wilson at a church dance where he was the organist.
“She couldn’t resist the man playing the organ,” says her son Barry.
The couple married in 1934 at the congregational church in Christchurch and moved to Hendon Ave in Mt Albert shortly after, where Mrs Doyle lived for 67 years.
Mrs Doyle says Mt Albert changed a lot in the years she lived there.
It was a new suburb when she moved in and bought one of the first state houses.
“It was a nice suburb and there weren’t many people there, it was all new houses and paddocks,” she says.
The couple had four children, Barry, Bevan, Brian and Wendy, who all attended Owairaka Primary and Mt Albert Grammar School.
Mrs Doyle’s husband died of cancer aged 57.
But love came again in 1978 when she married next door neighbour Bill Doyle.
The two were married for 11 years before he died in 1989.
Mrs Doyle gave 35 years of volunteer service to Communicare in Avondale, and was a member the Mt Albert Senior Citizens Bowling Club for more than 20 years.
She now lives in Sandringham’s Lexham Gardens.
“She’s been there two years and she already runs the place,” says Barry.
Her family has been her greatest achievement in life, she says.
“I haven’t done anything wonderful but I kept my family safe and I looked after them,” she says.
“I am most proud of my family and they have all done well.”
Mrs Doyle celebrated her birthday with two parties, one for family and friends and one at Lexham Gardens.
Big day: Sandringham resident Irene Doyle and her son Barry Wilson. Mrs Doyle celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.
Younger days: Irene Doyle aged about three years old.