Celebrating 100th ‘overwhelming’

It was a day to remember for Wanaka’s Jean Hudson (centre) yesterday  as she celebrated her 100th...
It was a day to remember for Wanaka’s Jean Hudson (centre) yesterday as she celebrated her 100th birthday with her family. Surrounding her are (from left) her sister Audrey Briggs, son-in-law Martin Paterson, son Deans Hudson, niece Darsie Kean and son Ross Hudson. Photo: Sean Nugent
She may have just turned 100, but Jean Hudson is still as independent as ever.

She cooks, cleans, shops and lives happily in her own home in Wanaka. She even drove up until a couple of years ago.

"I generally endeavour to achieve things myself — it keeps the body moving," she said, and admitted she thought retirement villages "were for old people".

The centenarian celebrated reaching three figures with a lunch and dinner celebration with about 50 family members at her son’s home in Wanaka yesterday.

Being able to celebrate the milestone with her family was "phenomenal" and "quite overwhelming", she said.

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the northeast of England, Mrs Hudson met her future Kiwi husband Jim, a confectioner by trade, while he was travelling through England in the late 1930s.

In 1945, Mrs Hudson jumped on a ship and headed to New Zealand. The couple married later that year and went on to have three children, Ross, Hillary and Deans.

Mr Hudson died at the turn of the century, but that has not stopped Mrs Hudson from continuing to live a busy life.

In 2010 she moved to Wanaka from Timaru to be closer to her children and to enjoy a climate that was "very good for older people".

Despite reaching 100, Mrs Hudson said she was not done yet.

"Long life is in the genes.

"As long as I keep my sensibility, I’m happy."

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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