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Birthday celebration . . . Wyndham and Districts Community Rest-home resident Dugald McKenzie celebrated his 103rd birthday on Sunday. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

One of Dugald McKenzie’s goals for this year is to retire from farming.

It is probably a fair enough decision as the Wyndham and Districts Community Rest Home resident had his 103rd birthday on Sunday.

Mr McKenzie said he had grown up on his parents’ farm at Seaward Downs.

“It was a wonderful life for children, the farm life,” he said

Given he had been farming since 1941, he decided it was time to retire.

“I’ve got too old to be a farmer so I’m going to give it up,” he said.

One property had been sold to members of the Webber family who had been sharemilking the two dairy farms for about 20 years.

The other farm will go on the market in September.

“Vaughan Webber, one of the sharemilkers, just carried on as if he was the farmer.”

Mr McKenzie said he received a report about what was happening on the farm every month.

“So I’m up with the play even if I’m not there.”

Rest-home residents and staff celebrated his birthday with a special lunch.

However, because the rest-home is in lockdown, there were no other guests present.

“They made a fuss of me but really I didn’t do anything.

“It just happened.”

He believed New Zealand was the best place to be in the world at present given the coronavirus situation.

“The Government are doing the best to keep in control of it and they’re doing not too bad.”

He remembered a time when he was about 7 years old and all his family members were sick.

“We were struck with the flu and we were all stuck in bed and quite helpless for nearly a week.

“All the neighbours milked the cows.”

One of the highlights of his life had been serving on the Southland County Council.

“It was a most wonderful experience.”

Daughter Rosemary Butler, of Christchurch, said her father still enjoyed outings.

“It’s really important to him he gets out to church every Sunday,” Mrs Butler said.

Her father had always been an avid reader.

“He still reads several books a week.

“It keeps his mind active which is good.”