It’s the big 100th birthday

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A man who served in the army in World War 2 in North Africa is about to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Noel Marshall lives in his own home in Gore and enjoys good health.

He attributes his longevity to “good living”.

“Health is your biggest single asset; without your health, you can’t do a darned thing,” Mr Marshall said.

He celebrates his birthday on Monday.

Mr Marshall played golf until he was 95. He was among those who founded and bought the Mataura Golf Course, he said.

During his four and a-half years in the army, he learnt to adopt a philosophical view of life.

“During those days, you were here today and God knows where you were going to be tomorrow,” Mr Marshall said.

The former Waimumu man was among some of the first troops to be sent to North Africa.

He was 18 when he joined the army.

“They said to me for a start I was too young. They still took me.”

When he was discharged from the army, he met his wife, the late Gwen.

“She was at a dance one night. She was left sitting alone at the end of the dance.”

He asked her to dance and the romance flourished.

An engineer, when Mr Marshall returned to Gore from the army, he opened Noel Marshall Engineering, and invented the first long-run spouting machine, he said, selling the machines throughout New Zealand and Australia.

The couple lived on their Waimumu farm for 60 years.

They had two daughters.

He had witnessed many changes and advances.

Television was one of those advances. He described television as a real novelty in the early days.

Mr Marshall is celebrating his birthday with friends and family at the Gore RSA on Sunday.

The Mataura Golf Club is also hosting a pot luck dinner on Saturday, June 10, starting at 5pm.

Those who wish to register for the golf club celebration can do so by phoning Bronwyn on (03) 208-1807 or Melanie on (03) 203-8427.Golf club stalwart: Page 14