New Gisborne’s Mavis Arkinstall will be 104 on Wednesday – but she says her birthday will be the same as any other.
“No different, really, to 103 last year,” she said. “I feel real old now.”
Ms Arkinstall credited her family with much of her happiness through her life journey.
One of her special moments was marrying her husband, Harry Arkinstall, who died 21 years ago.
“I was quite happy with my husband and quite happy with the children and the grandchildren that I’ve got,” she said.
“They really made my life. The kids were just wonderful.”
Ms Arkinstall’s daughter-in-law, Marie Arkinstall, said her children had always enjoyed having their grandmother by their side during important milestones and events.
“We were very close and she had a lot of pleasure for my children,” she said.
“She lived with me for nearly 38 years. She’s watched them grow up.
“She came to a lot of the kids’ sporting events, which was important to them to have her there – and to have her support all the way through their lives.
“She’s always interested in what they’re doing … her great-grandchildren now are playing various sports. That’s always been an interest to her when she sees them.”
Marie described Mavis as “very quick witted”, but more importantly, always supportive of her grandchildren.
“She always had an answer to various situations,” she said.
Ms Arkinstall is a proud mother of three children, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of seven.