Centenarian . . . Windsor Park Rest-home resident Tom Heslip celebrates his 100th birthday in Gore yesterday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Fred, Dawn, Joyce, Lorraine, Ivy and Tom — good solid names. From another era perhaps but still around and kicking.

It must be something in the water but Gore has more people aged 100 orover than any other equivalent-sized town in the country.

It is only the first Saturday of February and the Otago Daily Times is aware of six Gore residents who have already received their birthday card from King Charles.

The statistics do back it up.

Information from Stats NZ showed that for towns of a similar size— containing 6000-10,000 people, Gore did have the highest proportion of people aged more than 100.

There are about 3.4 people aged 100 or more per 1000 people in the population.

This was taken from census data in 2018.

Those who have died since then were not included in the data set.

Stats NZ said there appeared to be 18 people living in Gore who were aged 100 or older.

The next-best town was Thames, which had 3.29 people aged 100 or more per 1000 people in the population.

Matamata comes in at 3.07 while Kerikeri is at 2.93.

As for cause, there is a common theme — working hard, having good genes and having a supportive family.

Golden oldies . . . Gore centenarians are (from left) Fred Cooper (101) January 13; Dawn Gardyne (100) January 14; Joyce Burden (100) January 18; Lorraine Wright (102) January 19; and Tom Heslip (100) February 1. Ivy Hannah (104) January 28. PHOTOS: ALLIED PRESS

Brother and sister Fred Cooper and Joyce Burden have both reached three figures.

Fred, who turned 101 last month, said longevity ran in the family — his aunt lived to 104. He worked hard and kept active.

Sister Joyce said she always had interests and kept busy.

Ivy Hannah turned 104 late last month.

Counting grandchildren, great-grandchildren and greatgreat-grandchildren, she has 77 birthday presents to buy.

Grey Power Eastern Southland president Murray Newton, a relative spring chicken at 80, said Gore did have a lot of older people and many who came from good farming stock, and who had worked hard all their lives.