Doris celebrates her 106th birthday

Doris Wakelin celebrates her 106th birthday among family, and with well wishes from newly crowned royalty.
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Ashburton centenarian Doris Wakelin has celebrated her 106th birthday surrounded by family.

Doris – born at the family home in Hampstead on July 24, 1917 – had a potluck lunch celebration with around 35 family members at the Ashburton RSA, the day before her official birthday.

She enjoyed egg sandwiches and cinnamon oysters, two of her favourite foods.

She got stylish slippers, shortbread and flowers among her gifts and also received birthday cards from King Charles and Queen Camilla, New Zealand Governor General Cindy Kiro and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

‘‘We are delighted to send you our warm congratulations on your One Hundred and Sixth Birthday together with our warm wishes for an enjoyable celebration,’’ the card from King Charles and Queen Camilla says.

Doris has received cards from the late-Queen, the King and Queen, two Governor Generals and three prime ministers; since turning 100, six years ago.

Doris, the eldest daughter of six siblings, still lives independently in Ashburton, has a great memory, a good sense of humour and is in mostly good health.

She, and first husband George Bishop, had five children; a sixth child died at birth.

Jeffrey, Myra, David and Allen have since passed but youngest child, Noella, is still alive and lives close to Doris, visiting daily, as well as other family and caregivers.

The couple spent early married life on different farms around Mid Canterbury, including spells at Ealing and Dorie before settling at Maronan. George died unexpectedly in 1973 and Doris, at aged 56, never thought she would remarry, but she did.

She married Wilford ‘Wis’ Wakelin in 1975. They lived happily in Ashburton. Wis died in 1979.

Doris is now surrounded by family, and prefers to take one day at a time. She has no words of wisdom, unsure how she has managed to live as long.

‘‘You just live from day to day. You get up in the morning, the sun is shining … and you get through that day. ‘‘I am lucky, I have fairly good health. I’m not ailing.’’

Doris has 13 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren, and 27 great, great grandchildren.