‘You are royal’: roots still treasured at 100

Centenarian. . . Ribbonwood Country Home resident Sadie Lietze of Tapanui celebrates her 100th birthday last Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Sadie Lietze has always tried to follow the advice her grandfather gave her when she was a teenager.

Tapanui’s Ribbonwood Country Home resident celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday.

Growing up on the Otago Peninsula she was always busy helping milk cows and with other farm chores, Mrs Lietze (nee Stuart) said.

One day when she was 13 years old her grandfather Abraham sat her down and gave her a little talk.

‘‘Sadie, I want you to be a real lady,’’ he said.

He then reminded her she was descended from the Stuart family, who had members on the British throne in the 1600s.

‘‘Remember, you are royal.’’

His words stuck with her.

‘‘I have always tried to act like a lady,’’ she said.

Mrs Lietze met her future husband William when she was working as a land girl in Kelso.

‘‘I was a good housekeeper, although I say it myself, and a good cook.’’

The couple had five children. While her life had been busy and full, she never ‘‘begrudged’’ the demands put on her.

‘‘It was there to be done and I did it.’’

Now Mrs Lietze has 12 grandchildren and 39 great grandchildren.

‘‘Family has always been important. I’m very proud of my family. Everyone has proved to be a success.’’

Her Christian faith was central to how she lived her life.

‘‘God, he rules me. I do what I’m told.’’

She never expected to reach the milestone but she came from a family where people lived to old age.

‘‘I’m of old living stock.’’

She had never smoked or drunk alcohol because there was never any money for extras.

‘‘I’ve always lived good.’’

She had been living in the rest-home for about two years.

In the past she had been fond of vegetable and flower gardening.

Now she liked to follow the news on her tablet.

Mrs Lietze celebrated her birthday with a family gathering in Alexandra.