Long life for Naomi

Hastings Leader - - News - BY JULES HAMIL­TON, GRACELANDS AC­TIV­I­TIES CO­OR­DI­NA­TOR

In 1913 Woodrow Wil­son was the US pres­i­dent, Char­lie Chaplin started his movie ca­reer and the first Model T Fords rolled off the assem­bly line. And on Septem­ber 13 that year, Gracelands Life­style Care’s old­est res­i­dent Naomi Mer­rall was born.

Last Thurs­day Naomi en­joyed a spe­cial lunch with her daugh­ter, a trip to the hairdresser, and a birth­day cake and present from the team at Gracelands.

A res­i­dent of Gracelands Life­style Care since 2015, Naomi started life in Welling­ton, and as a small girl she re­mem­bers trav­el­ling from Napier to Gis­borne by boat be­cause there were no roads. She met her hus­band Aubrey when she was work­ing as a short­hand typ­ist for Han­nah’s shoes in Welling­ton. Dur­ing World War II Naomi worked as a typ­ist in the cen­sus and stats of­fice and Naomi and Aubrey mar­ried in 1940 and moved to Hawke’s Bay when he re­turned from war in the Pa­cific.

They bought a gro­cery dairy in Ma­hora in 1946 — Linda, their only child, was born six years later.

Af­ter sell­ing the shop they moved to Heath­cote Road, then to Ngaio Street in Ma­hora, where Naomi lived un­til June, 2015 be­fore com­ing to Gracelands.

Naomi has three grand­chil­dren, one great grand­child and an­other on the way. She was a cook and baker and en­joyed gar­den­ing, walk­ing and in­door bowls.

Her se­cret to a long life has been good food with few preser­va­tives — and the oc­ca­sional treat.

Grace­land’s res­i­dent Naomi Mer­rall cel­e­brates her 105th birth­day.

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