Our Margaret’s big milestone

Former Englishwoman Margaret Reid, who turns 100 today, has lived in Queenstown since the late 1950s.

There’ll be a low-key celebration at Frankton’s Lake Wakatipu Care Centre, which she only moved into about 18 months ago after living independently nearby.

Daughter Marnie Reid says her mum’s still fit and well, though can get a little confused.

Marnie puts her longevity down to genetics — "her father was one of 18, all stocky Irish types, they seem to last forever".

Her husband Ivan, whom she met while working as a housemaid at Queenstown’s Eichardt’s hotel during a long OE, died when he was 52, and her other child, Danny, died in a skiing accident when he was just 32.

Marnie, who was born in 1962, says their former Brecon St family home is still there.

"There were only about 800 people in town when I was a kid, so you knew everyone.

Margaret Reid receiving 100th birthday wishes from local RSA support adviser Diane McIrvine,...
Margaret Reid receiving 100th birthday wishes from local RSA support adviser Diane McIrvine, centre, and committee member Sheena Lees. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
"It was a nice little town because everyone looked out for each other."

Margaret worked at the Queenstown Library for about five years, then opened a Shotover St craft shop, The Spider Web, with Jan Spary, which they later sold to weather man, the late David Crow.

Marnie says her mum used to do beautiful embroidery — "as a child, there were always knitting needles going in the background".

Margaret’s also been a long-time member of the local Returned & Services’ Association (RSA) branch, having served in Britain’s Women’s Land Army for about four years during World War 2.

She often tells of how she drove an excavator in the war when she was only about 21.

 

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