Happy and healthy at 101
IT’S HARD to believe Ellen Wilson is 101 years old.
She lives on her own, is sharp as a tack and has a great sense of humour.
‘‘The chemist told me the other day that I’m the oldest resident in Sandringham village, I’d love to be the healthiest, but that’s my forte,’’ she says.
The Sandringham resident celebrated her birthday yesterday.
‘‘David Shearer sent me a birthday letter. But [getting to 101] has nothing to do with me, it’s the man upstairs,’’ she says.
The world is a very different place to when she was younger, Mrs Wilson says.
‘‘You can’t compare. I’ve seen quite a bit.
‘‘I think the thing that has stood out most is the introduction of electricity. It was absolute magic to be able to flick a switch and have the whole room light up.
Mrs Wilson was born in Picton in 1913 and grew up in Huntly, where her father was a coal miner.
In 1936 she married her husband Jim. She was 23 when the couple moved to Wellington. They had a son, Barry, and a daughter, Raewyn. The family had to manage without Jim for a couple of years, after the outbreak of World War II.
The Wilsons retired in the 1960s and she has fond memories of a six-month trip they took to Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa. ‘‘It was our OE,’’ she says. ‘‘When we got back neither of us could settle so we went on another trip around the North Island.
‘‘I couldn’t bear being off work after that so I went back, and so did Jim.’’
Mrs Wilson leads an active life and did not stop driving until she was in her 80s.
She was keen on crossword puzzles, and enjoyed baking and gardening.
But she has had to slow down in the last couple of years.
‘‘I can’t really grizzle. I’ve been blessed in my life.
‘‘When I think of the number of my friends who have gone well before they reach 100 it’s really pleasing to have reached the age I have and had such good health with it.’’
Mrs Wilson has grandchildren and great-grandchildren. four four
Happy birthday: Ellen Wilson celebrated her 101st birthday yesterday.
Looking back: Ellen Wilson and husband Jim on their wedding day in 1936.