Porirua’s Tai­wung Yu Hoi, 107, NZ’S old­est man?

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Most of us will never reach 107, let alone still be liv­ing at home and tuck­ing into KFC with our own teeth like Porirua East man Tai­wung Yu Hoi.

Mr Yu Hoi marked his 107th birth­day sur­rounded by a hand­ful of his 200 de­scen­dants in Porirua East last Fri­day.

Mr Yu Hoi was born in 1904 in Can­ton, south­ern China. He em­i­grated to Samoa in 1927 aged 24. There he grew co­coa plants, mar­ried a lo­cal woman and had 11 chil­dren. He moved to New Zealand in 1971 and made Porirua his home.

Mr Yu Hoi’s daugh­ter-in-law Leonie Yu Hoi at­tributes his longevity to the Chi­nese herbs he grew and ate dur­ing his long ca­reer as a gar­dener.

He was al­ways pas­sion­ate about gar­dens and in­stilled a strong work ethic in his chil­dren, Mrs Yu Hoi says.

An­other daugh­ter-in­law, Toto Yu Hoi, says his good health is down to a daily break­fast of hot wa­ter, por­ridge and toast. Grand­daugh­ter Jes­sica Yu Hoi dis­closes an­other pos­si­ble elixir of youth: Mr Yu Hoi’s fond­ness for KFC.

Family is clearly at the cen­tre of life in Mr Yu Hoi’s house­hold, and dozens of family por­traits hang on the lounge walls. About two dozen of Mr Yu Hoi’s es­ti­mated 200 chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and great­grand­chil­dren spent his birth­day with him, eat­ing two giant birth­day cakes dec­o­rated with his photo, drink­ing bub­bly and en­joy­ing them­selves.

Sta­tis­tics New Zealand does not keep records of the old­est New Zealan­ders, but Mr Yu Hoi is pos­si­bly the old­est man in the coun­try.

There is an 108-year-old woman in In­ver­cargill and an­other one in Clyde. 109-yearold Auck­land woman Lena Ray, be­lieved to have been the old­est New Zealan­der, died in March.

Birth­day party: Tai­wung Yu Hoi spent his 107th birth­day sur­rounded by his family, from left: great-grand­son Xavier Yu Hoi, grand­son Tom Yu Hoi, great-grand­son Dakhin Yu Hoi, son George Yu Hoi, daugh­ter-in-law Leonie Yu Hoi, daugh­ter-in-law Toto Yu Hoi, daugh­ter Towhina Yu Hoi, grand­daugh­ter Jes­sica Yu Hoi and grand­daugh­ter-in-law Ur­sula Tokuma-Yu Hoi.

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