By Mick Jensen
Coldstream House resident May Parker celebrated her 101st birthday last week with her favourite fish and chip lunch.
Two of her four daughters joined her at lunch, alongside younger members of the family.
Dunedin born, May attended Otago Girls and then trained as a nurse.
She was a rep netballer, although the game was referred to as basketball in those days, and played at centre for Otago.
She was also one of the first to be employed as an industrial nurse at the freezer works and enjoyed a stint at Oamaru’s Pukeuri plant.
“I loved the job and the men were all wonderful to me,” she said.
Her nursing career also included a stint as a district nurse.
May married Geoffrey at a registry office just before he was shipped out and joined the Royal Navy in World War 2.
The ceremony was kept secret from most of the family and was later followed by a second ceremony in a church after Geoffrey returned home from war.
Husband Geoffrey trained as a pharmacist and set up shop in Oamaru where he ran a successful business for many years. He died in 2006.
May has always been active and played golf and badminton and was a member of Oamaru Operatic for a number of years.
“My four daughters are wonderful girls and I put my longevity down to being a ‘good girl’ as well,” she said.
She had always liked a regular glass of white wine and could honestly say she had “enjoyed her life”.
May Parker, who looks far younger than her years, has nine grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren and was born on October 10 1918.
She still attends some Friday gatherings at the Ashburton Cavendish Club, a club she was also a member of in Oamaru.