Inventor of spouting machine in for long haul

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Special occasion . . . Robert Noel Marshall celebrated his 103rd birthday on Friday with cake and his family at Resthaven Village in Gore. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The inventor of long-run spouting and corrugated iron machines credits “a little glass of something” for helping him reach a milestone.

Robert Noel Marshall celebrated his 103rd birthday on Friday but admits “I certainly don’t feel 103”.

Mr Marshall marked the occasion with his daughter Cheryl and grandson Wade Knowles in his home at Resthaven Village, in Gore.

Ms Marshall said there were three key things that kept her father’s brain alert.

“Good old-fashioned hard work, golf and a glass of something, which is what he says helped him make the milestone of 103,” she said.

His life is nothing short of impressive, having served in the army during World War 2.

His older brother Owen was in the air force.

He spent five years stationed in several places, including Egypt, before returning home and relocating to Gore.

As a qualified engineer, Mr Marshall set up a business in with “an old army mate” Fred Harvey, who was a diesel mechanic.

“It’s on the site where CVS Vets is today,” his daughter said.

“You can still see some of his pipe gates with ‘M’ on them being used today.”

It led to him creating long-run spouting and corrugated iron machines that he sold throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Mr Marshall went on to buy a 443ha farm in Waimumu, where he farmed for about 40 years.

“He thought outside the square,” Ms Marshall said.

“He was the first farmer to winter sheep under cover and went on to all-grass farming.

“I remember his mates telling him he was crazy but that’s what he did.”

Mr Marshall was one of five children and had two daughters.