Maureen Pryde had some solid advice for younger generations on the week of her 100th birthday. ‘‘It seems such a mess sometimes — the way people treat each other. Just be kind, friendly and respectful, and respect the kindness and friendliness of others, at home and out in the street,’’ she said.
Born in Balclutha in 1923, Maureen Webb grew up on a farm and went to Kakapuaka School, but never made it to high school due to starting work on a neighbour’s farm aged 13. ‘‘I had two brothers and one sister — I was the baby of the family, the spoiled one,’’ she said.
‘‘There were so many more horses then. Mum used to go to Balclutha to do the shopping every Friday with a horse and cart and I remember seeing my first car, an old Ford . . . There was no power where we were. It wasn’t till we moved off the farm and into Balclutha that we had our own electricity, and we thought that was just wonderful.’’
During World War 2 she worked at a flax-linen factory near the present site of Finegand freezing works and Miss Webb became Mrs Pryde when she was 38.
Tragedy led to her becoming a single mum who juggled paid work with managing her family, and today she has three adult children and six grandchildren.
Mrs Pryde has never owned a mobile phone, wanted to thank her daughter for helping complete her census forms, and was thrilled with the birthday card she received on behalf of the King.
‘‘We are delighted to send you our warm congratulations on your 100th birthday, together with our best wishes for an enjoyable celebration — Charles R and Camilla R,’’ the message read.
On Saturday a big afternoon tea party for the Pryde family, staff and residents of Holmdene rest-home celebrated the milestone, and when asked for advice on how to live to be 100, Mrs Pryde was candid.
‘‘Well it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and I couldn’t always recommend it . . . maybe just relax with one glass of red wine at the end of every day.’’