Muriel’s friends gather to cel­e­brate her 90th

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

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.

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