A century of living
Rona Shields has survived a century of love and hardship to celebrate her 100th birthday.
The former Mt Roskill resident was born April 25, 1913, in Ponsonby, and was the eldest of four children.
Brother Ross, 93, and Mrs Shields are the only surviving siblings.
‘‘Mum still enjoys her bingo, rummikub, music and sing alongs, plus visits from her family,’’ son Wayne Shields says.
He says his mum lived a century of ‘‘hardship, war, love, lifelong friendships and an everchanging world’’.
Mrs Shields was also an active member of the Herne Bay Women’s Bowling Club and was famous for her homemade sweets, which she spent days making for the club and school fairs.
‘‘She was a real homemaker, and a terrific cook, especially baking, and was often asked to make her cakes, specialising in light sponge drops and pavlovas,’’ Wayne says.
Mrs Shields and late husband Chris were believed to be the longest living married couple in New Zealand when they celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary on April 27 last year.
‘‘Unfortunately, Dad passed away last June, but not before reaching the age of 100 the previous October,’’ Wayne says.
‘‘They had known each other for five years before they got married, so had actually been together for 82 years. How many husbands and wives have both exceeded 100 years old?’’
Mrs Shields attended Ponsonby’s St Mary’s College and worked at Collins Brother bookbinders where colleague Ruby Shields introduced brother Chris to her. ‘‘But Mum’s parents said she couldn’t get married until she was 22, so two days after her 22nd birthday she married Dad on April 27, 1935,’’ Wayne says.
Mrs Shields has three children, four grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren.
100 candles: Rona Shields celebrated her 100th birthday on Anzac Day with friends and family.