When someone asked Dick Reid what sort of cake he wanted for his 100th birthday, he said: ''Bugger the cake - take me for a feed of oysters''.
Why? Because he had celebrated every birthday for the past century with cake, and when you turned 100, you need something a little more momentous, he said.
''Oysters and chips is my long suit - it's my favourite meal.''
So he celebrated his milestone yesterday with Bluff oysters and chips at the Best Cafe in Dunedin, with his fellow Oxford Court residents.
Mr Reid said he was a regular at the cafe for many years, living on a daily lunchtime diet of fish and chips while he ran his bookmaking business.
''You name the gambling, I've done it. I'm a gambler. I was born a gambler. I love the thrill you get when the odds turn your way.''
Oxford Court Rest Home co-ordinator Yvonne McNeil said Mr Reid was ''a real character''.
''He's got a great sense of humour and a great memory, and he loves to play cards and indoor bowls. He's a ray of sunshine - a real character.''
Unfortunately for Mr Reid, there was no getting away from the inevitable birthday cake yesterday.
He had a second celebration with friends and family at Oxford Court yesterday afternoon, at which he was encouraged to do the traditional birthday cake-cutting.
When asked what the odds were of him reaching his 101st birthday, Mr Reid said he was confident they were in his favour.
''I'm a gambler at heart. I can always find something to gamble with,'' he said with a chuckle.
''The odds are very good on me making 110 - maybe even 120.
''I come from good stock. I go forever and ever and ever.''
It sounds like a bet he won't worry about losing money on.
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