Greymouth woman celebrates 103rd birthday

Greymouth centenarian Jean Mosley turned 103-years-old yesterday. Photo: Greymouth Star
Greymouth centenarian Jean Mosley turned 103-years-old yesterday. Photo: Greymouth Star

The day Greymouth centenarian Jean Mosley was born, thousands of New Zealand soldiers were in Egypt preparing to land at Gallipoli in just over a month's time on April 25, 1915.

Yesterday, she celebrated her 103rd birthday at Granger House rest home.

Mrs Mosley's memories of old Greymouth remain sharp and vivid as she recalled her days working at Tates Footwear Arcade in what is now Ali's Eating and Drinking Cafe in the town square.

"I worked there for eight years and knew a heck a lot of people. We had some lovely customers. I used to say, I mightn't know your name - but I know your feet!"
Mrs Mosley was born in Hokitika and has spent most of her life in Greymouth.

She is believed to be the last person alive to have travelled across the Southern Alps in a horse drawn Cobb and Co coach.

She talked yesterday of fond memories of her late husband, Ernest Mosley, who worked as an accountant at Wylde and Robertsons in Greymouth.

"I had a very happy marriage; I'd have him back today if I could," she said.

Mrs Mosley has two daughters, both former school teachers and in their 70s - Val, who lives in Richmond, and Margaret, in Lincoln - as well as five grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. Neither of her daughters could attend the birthday celebration, however, Granger House put on a special lunch and baked a chocolate cake with three candles on the top - not 103; they would probably not fit on the cake.

Mrs Mosley had no trouble in blowing the candles out.

As to the secret of a long life, she had no secrets, saying simply: "You go to bed at night and you go to sleep; you have no say."

She is looking forward to when her daughters come to visit.

"I'm going to take them to Ali's in the square; we're going to have a meal there."

 - by Chris Tobin


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