Hilda turns 100

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By Mick Jensen

Hilda Murdoch celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.

Hilda Murdoch marked her 100th birthday with a low key celebration with close family at Coldstream Lifecare and Village on Monday.

Coronavirus restrictions meant that she could not enjoy a bigger party planned for the day earlier.

Hilda’s daughter Karen Bungard, who works at Coldstream, said her mother was a “tough lady” and had rolled with whatever life had dealt her.

At 100, she still had a love for life and was well looked after at Coldstream.

“Mum is an incredibly intelligent woman and was still reading Greek mythology and writing poetry in her 90s.”

She had macular degeneration, was hard of hearing, but was “doing old age with grace”.

Hilda was born in Avondale, Auckland on March 23, 1920.

She grew up in tough times and in a poor family.

Her father was a coal miner and the family moved to Blackball on the West Coast when Hilda was seven.

Hilda became a domestic help at aged 14 and after a stint on the North Island, returned to Blackball.

She worked in a Tb sanitarium in Palmerston and met her future husband James in the town.

After a simple wedding in 1940, the couple settled in Palmerston and Hilda worked in sales in a boutique dress shop.

The couple had three children and moved to Ashburton when they were both in their mid 80s.

Daughter Karen said her parents had moved so that she could keep a closer eye on them.

They had enjoyed two years together as residents at Coldstream, before her father died at aged 95.

“Mum has seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren and takes a keen interest in them all – family are very important to her.”