A cen­tury of liv­ing

Central Leader - - NEWS -

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.

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