Eve Thompson celebrated her 100th birthday last Wednesday, crediting her healthy lifestyle and ethic of hard work as the secret to her longevity.
Thompson, originally from London, arrived in New Zealand in February 1956 with her husband Brian Thompson.
Her last job before moving to NZ was at Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, a multinational clothing store.
“We came over with my mum and dad – he was a customs officer, and I had a lovely mum who also worked in customs,” Thompson said.
The decision to move to the other side of the world was partly prompted by her family losing three houses to German bombing raids during World War II.
“We were having raids night and day, and then my father decided to come to New Zealand,” Thompson said.
Now residing in Masterton, Thompson said both she and her husband feel like they’re Kiwis now.
Despite entering her eleventh decade, her brain is just tickety-boo, she told the Times-Age – the only thing she’s lost is her hearing and long locks.
Thompson had no children but is infatuated with their 12-year-old chihuahua Benji.
Talking about her secret to a long life, Thompson said she and Brian hardly ever drink alcohol, but on the very rare occasion they do, it’s a very low per cent beer.
Like the majority of the adult population back in the day, Thompson smoked cigarettes, but only because it was the thing to do.
The couple both maintain a healthy diet and try very hard to eat a range of fresh produce.
Despite that, “I’ve been through the most diabolical operations”, Thompson said: “I don’t know how I’ve survived; it’s the luck of the draw.”
She worked most of her life in management roles, which she said she loved doing.
Until recently, Thompson has had an active social life and said her marriage of over 70 years has been a wonderful and happy one.
“He’s a lovely husband, he’s very helpful and kind,” she said.
The centenarian has four words of advice for younger people that have always stood her in good stead: “Work hard” and “Be honest”.