Cel­e­brat­ing a cen­tury

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Joe We­ston came to New Zealand late in his life, all for the sake of fam­ily.

The Har­bourview Rest Home res­i­dent cel­e­brated his 100th birth­day last Tues­day, with rous­ing ren­di­tions of Happy Birth­day and plenty of cards to open from fam­ily, friends, the Prime Min­is­ter and Queen El­iz­a­beth.

Mr We­ston didn’t seem all that fussed by the at­ten­tion, but hav­ing his daugh­ter Chris, who trav­elled from Aus­tralia for the oc­ca­sion, and grand-daugh­ter Ni­cola with him for the day put a smile on his face.

Born on Septem­ber 13, 1911, in Wolver­hamp­ton, near Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land, Mr We­ston left school at 14 and trained to be an elec­tri­cian.

Dur­ing World War II he re­paired elec­tri­cal dam­age in am­mu­ni­tion fac­to­ries af­ter ex­ten­sive Ger­man bomb­ing around the Wolver­hamp­ton area.

His three pas­sions were his wife, Dorothy – they would cel­e­brate their golden wed­ding be­fore she died – his gar­den and fruit trees, and Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers foot­ball team.

His daugh­ter Chris was adopted in 1948 and she re­calls sum­mer hol­i­days in a car­a­van in North Wales.

‘‘We al­ways did every­thing as a fam­ily. I had a won­der­ful child­hood and could have not asked for a bet­ter up­bring­ing.

‘‘There were al­ways plenty of cousins around and ev­ery­one had a lot of fun to­gether.’’

Dorothy and Joe moved to New Zealand in 1976 and they set­tled in Air­lie Rd in Plim­mer­ton, in or­der to be close to their daugh­ter and grand-daugh­ter.

Mr We­ston be­came the trea­surer of the lo­cal se­nior cit­i­zens club, his wife was sec­re­tary, and they en­joyed many out­ings.

Ni­cola can re­mem­ber be­ing ‘‘the odd one out’’ on a num­ber of these ex­cur­sions.

‘‘I was the youngest there by a long way, be­fore I started go­ing to school they would take me ev­ery­where.’’

The We­stons went on a num­ber of over­seas trips, Joe en­joyed the ex­cel­lent fish­ing this re­gion had to of­fer, ren­o­vated the house and gar­den, and rode his bike around well into his nineties.

‘‘They got out and about a lot, were in­volved in the com­mu­nity. Mum and Dad made the most of life,’’ Chris says.

Mr We­ston has been at Har­bourview only in the past two years as his health de­te­ri­o­rated.

Staff say he is the old­est res­i­dent and many of them were on hand to give their best wishes last week.

Magic num­ber: It isn’t easy find­ing a bal­loon with ‘100’ on it, as Joe We­ston’s fam­ily dis­cov­ered dur­ing prepa­ra­tions for his birth­day cel­e­bra­tion last week.

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