Muriel’s friends gather to celebrate her 90th
Royal Oak resident Muriel Williams celebrated her 90th birthday last month, as well as celebrating old school friendships that stretch back 85 years.
Mrs Williams was one of the foundation children at Royal Oak Primary School when it opened in 1924.
“We have dinner every year,” she says.
“There are only six of us left now.”
Her son Ray Williams, one of her five sons, says his mother’s old friends are remarkably sprightly.
She was the secretary for the school’s 40th reunion in 1964, where she regained contact with her old classmates.
Mrs Williams has also worked with the Onehunga Historic Society for 34 years.
She says her birthday celebration was lovely, with about 70 guests in attendance.
Also an author, Mrs Williams published a book in 1979 titled Charles Blomfield, His Life and Times, about her grandfather who became famous for his paintings of the Pink and White Terraces.
She says her grandfather was most upset when the Mt Tarawera explosion of 1886 destroyed the iconic terraces.
Mrs Williams’ mother was also taught painting by the famous Charles Goldie, who was of the same era.
Decades of friendship: From left: Lloyd Hirst, Joyce Robins, Joan Otway, Peace Toone and Muriel Williams celebrate a rare occasion. Margaret Parkinson was absent.