A hundred reasons to keep enjoying life

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Ivy Hannah might have turned 100 but there is nothing wrong with her eyesight – she read her birthday card from the Queen without glasses.

Gore’s newest centenarian celebrated the milestone on January 28 with her family at Resthaven Village, where she lives.

Mrs Hannah said she had reading glasses but was not sure where they were.

“I don’t wear glasses at all,” she said.

She was very taken with her royal birthday card which featured a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II.

“I think it’s lovely.”

While many people might hope to reach their 101st year, Mrs Hannah was not too concerned about her achievement.

“It’s just another day to me.

“I just sort of live from day to day.”

That philosophy of taking one day at a time had served her well when bringing up her family.

“[I was] so busy bringing up a family I never had time to think of much else.”

She was not sure why she had lived for so long but was glad she had.

“I’ve seen my family grow up.

“I’ve enjoyed life.”

She was not fussy about what she ate and had no particular favourite foods but was careful to avoid oysters.

“I can’t eat oysters – I like it but it makes me ill.”

The first 10 years of her life were spent in Maitland but then her family moved to Ferndale.

When she left primary school after passing her proficiency examination, she worked at home.

“I never went to high school – you were allowed to leave at 13 if you had your proficiency.

“I was 13 the day I was due to go back or the day after, I’m not sure .. I stayed home and helped on the farm.”

One of her jobs was to help hand-milk the herd of about 30 cows.

“I was never that fond of it.”

She raised a family of 10 children with her late husband Allan, formerly of Tuturau, whom she had married when she was 19.

Later the couple moved to Alexandra to grow peaches.

“First year there we were frosted out – we had one peach.”

In the later years of her life, when living in Mataura, Mrs Hannah was a keen member of the Mataura Garden Club and took part in the flower shows.

“I’ve always enjoyed the garden.”

Mrs Hannah has 22 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.