Flowers, cake for Betty as she notches up 103

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Photo: Betty Young a youthful 103.

Betty Young, one of Mid Canterbury’s oldest residents, has celebrated her 103rd year with birthday cake and surrounded by her beloved flowers.

There were also cards from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with a hand written message, and Seniors Minister Tracey Martin.

A resident of Rosebank rest-home, Betty enjoyed afternoon tea on her actual birthday (March 16) with close family, including a slab of her favourite cream sponge cake.

A larger gathering of extended family and friends was held a couple of days later at the home of one of her daughters.

Another visitor to wish her a happy birthday was Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon.

Betty has four children (and another deceased), 15 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

Her husband John died in 1980 at the age of 78.

Betty said she had been in pretty good health since becoming a centenarian.

“My eyesight is not too flash, but my hearing is OK most of the time.

“I still play a bit of rummikub and housie, with a little bit of help.”

She had now upgraded to an ensuite room at Rosebank and was well looked after.

Betty Young is the patroness of the Tinwald Garden Club, of which she is a founding member, and also a member of the Ashburton Society of Arts.

“I painted between the ages of 80 and 90, mainly watercolours and acrylics, and I have a grandson who is a talented artist,” she said.