Happy and healthy at 101

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

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

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Happy birth­day: Ellen Wil­son cel­e­brated her 101st birth­day yes­ter­day.

Look­ing back: Ellen Wil­son and hus­band Jim on their wed­ding day in 1936.

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