Jean Glasspole celebrates her 100th birthday with children Stephen Glasspole (left), Miriam Broad, and Donald Glasspole. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
By Hayley Gastmeier
Carterton-born Jean Glasspole is a mother to three, grandmother to nine, great-grandmother to 14, and a great-great grandmother to one, soon to be two.
Yesterday, she celebrated her 100th birthday with family at Masterton Club.
Having lived through two world wars, Mrs Glasspole raised three children on her own with no government assistance.
“I made my children my life,” she said.
Mrs Glasspole was educated in Carterton at St Mary’s School, where she learned shorthand, typing, and book keeping.
Her first job was at the Wairarapa Daily News in Belvedere Rd, where she had an administration role.
In the era of silent movies, she played the organ at the Regent Theatre in Carterton.
Daughter Miriam Broad, of Masterton, said she was “absolutely amazed” that her mother had made it to 100.
Her mother had passed her musical teaching diploma for the highest marks in practical at the tender age of 14.
“She received an award of 12 guineas, a handsome sum in her youth.”
Mrs Glasspole’s son, Stephen, from Napier, said he was blessed to have such a “wonderful mother”.
He said his mother had worked hard to provide for her children, and on her own managed to buy a home in Upper Hutt.
“She used to bike from home to work with me on the back, and she’d drop me off at kindy on the way.
“I’m really lucky to have someone like mum.”
When Mrs Glasspole was in her early 1920s she worked in Wellington at the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition.
She said she had “moved around a bit” in her life, having lived in Papatoetoe and Rotorua, as well as in the capital city and Wairarapa.
In her later years, she contributed to the community in a number of ways, including volunteering at the Trade Aid shops.
Mrs Glasspole’s said she had been fortunate, having many “kind, and close” friends throughout her life.
Now living at Cornwall Rest Home in Masterton, she said health-wise she feels fine most days.
“Some mornings I don’t feel so good, but I’m alright.”
Her advice to others is to “do your best with what’s given to you”.