Fair­lie has seen cen­tury of changes

Bush Telegraph - - NEWS - By CHRIS­TINE McKAY

For Dan­nevirke’s Fair­lie Ni­col, her 100th birth­day at Eileen Mary Rest Home on Sat­ur­day, Septem­ber 9, was a bit over­whelm­ing.

Fam­ily from around New Zealand and Perth in Western Aus­tralia joined Fair­lie and her only child, Jack, for the birth­day, but the 100 year old didn’t know what all the fuss was about. How­ever, but she was de­lighted to re­ceive a birth­day card from “Aunty El­iz­a­beth” — Queen El­iz­a­beth II.

“I’d bet­ter be­have,” Fair­lie chuck­led.

Fair­lie’s father came to New Zealand as a shearer from a small town near Bendigo in Aus­tralia and met Fair­lie’s mother in Have­lock North.

“Fair­lie grew up in the de­pres­sion years,” friend Tim De­laney said.

“She trained as a nurse and holds proud to her nurs­ing skills.”

In fact, if Eileen Mary staff don’t make Fair­lie’s bed prop­erly, she strips it and re­makes it, liv­ing up to her nurs­ing stan­dards.

Af­ter mar­ry­ing Tom in Have­lock North, the cou­ple ran a sheep and beef farm at Ti­pa­pakuku on the out­skirts of Dan­nevirke.

“You’re never too old for farm­ing,” Fair­lie said.

The cou­ple’s only child Jack was at Fair­lie’s side for her birth­day cel­e­bra­tions and said his mother was renowned for her scones. Nephew John McLen­nan of Welling­ton said Fair­lie’s 100th was an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment.

“No one else in our fam­ily has lived this long,” he said.

“Fair­lie has al­ways helped oth­ers and de­liv­ered meals on wheels to peo­ple decades younger than her­self.”

Fair­lie also ded­i­cated a lot of her time to St John the Bap­tist Angli­can Church in Dan­nevirke where she was choir mis­tress and or­gan­ist.

“She was also re­spon­si­ble for all the holy hard­ware and ev­ery­thing was done per­fectly,” re­tired vicar De­laney said.

At 94, Fair­lie was still chop­ping her own fire­wood and it was as a re­sult of an ac­ci­dent while chop­ping that she “re­tired” to Eileen Mary.

“She’s seen some phe­nom­e­nal changes in those 100 years,” Tararua District mayor Tracey Col­lis said.

Dan­nevirke’s Fair­lie Ni­col, left, with her son Jack at Eileen Mary on Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon, cel­e­brat­ing Fair­lie’s 100th birth­day.

Fair­lie Ni­col with Tararua District mayor Tracey Col­lis at Eileen Mary on Sat­ur­day, Septem­ber 29.

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