A birthday full of greats

Home brew, good food in a long life enjoyed

Home brew, good food in a long life enjoyed

As far as birthdays go, 100 years is a big one. To make it extra special, Gisborne woman Beatrice Hemsley was part of five generations of women who gathered yesterday to mark her triple figure milestone. The century was celebrated with a morning tea at Kiri Te Kanawa retirement village, where Mrs Hemsley is a resident. It was followed by afternoon tea at her daughter Carol Jukes’ home, with Mrs Hemsley’s son David (living in Katikati) there, too. From left are Carol Jukes, birthday girl Beatrice Hemsley, with her granddaughter Cheryl Taylor, great great granddaughter Sophie Johnson and great granddaughter Rebecca Taylor. Picture by Paul Rickard

Great-great-grandmother Beatrice Hemsley said good food was the secret to making it to 100 years old as she celebrated with her family yesterday.

Mrs Hemsley said home brew helped too, which she used to make with her husband George — and she was not shy of taking people’s car keys away from them if they had too much to drink.

Her two children Carol and David were there to help celebrate and described her as “a lovely mum”.

Daughter Carol Jukes said they never went without.

Son David Hemsley, and his wife Gaye came down from Katikati for the special day.

Mr Hemsley said he remembered his mum and dad “working their backsides off” to make sure they could take their two children on a special holiday every Christmas.

He remembered one in particular when they ran out of petrol on the driveway just as they got home.

Mrs Hemsley, born Beatrice Steele, married George Hemsley in 1941 and the couple lived in Auckland where their two children were born.

She was a prolific seamstress and made all her children’s clothes, and worked for Ross and Glendining, a clothing manufacturer in Auckland.

“I worked because I liked working,” she said.

The family moved to Gisborne in 1951. They travelled here in their 1948 Ford Anglia and son David remembers the journey from Opotiki to Gisborne took them almost five hours. He said the Waioeka Gorge road back then was just two wheel tracks.

The family settled into a state house in Gladstone Road, then another in Grafton Road before buying their first home in Lytton Road.

The couple ran the dairy across from the YMCA on Roebuck Road for many years, with Mrs Hemsley at the shop- front while Mr Hemsley worked at the port as a waterside worker.

After the couple retired they held a lot of garage sales to help fund a three-month road trip travelling in Australia, from New South Wales to Cape York at the top of Queensland.

Mrs Hemsley was born in Christchurch in 1919. The family never had a car but lived centrally in Madras Street, she said.

She was the eldest of four children. Her younger sister Shirley, who is 97, is travelling down from Auckland to help her sister celebrate with a big family lunch at the Gisborne RSA on Saturday.

The family has extended to include four great-great-grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren and five grandchildren.

There was also a special visitor from Scotland, who there will be more about in tomorrow’s paper.

Great-great-grandmother Beatrice Hemsley said good food was the secret to making it to 100 years old as she celebrated with her family yesterday.

Mrs Hemsley said home brew helped too, which she used to make with her husband George — and she was not shy of taking people’s car keys away from them if they had too much to drink.

Her two children Carol and David were there to help celebrate and described her as “a lovely mum”.

Daughter Carol Jukes said they never went without.

Son David Hemsley, and his wife Gaye came down from Katikati for the special day.

Mr Hemsley said he remembered his mum and dad “working their backsides off” to make sure they could take their two children on a special holiday every Christmas.

He remembered one in particular when they ran out of petrol on the driveway just as they got home.

Mrs Hemsley, born Beatrice Steele, married George Hemsley in 1941 and the couple lived in Auckland where their two children were born.

She was a prolific seamstress and made all her children’s clothes, and worked for Ross and Glendining, a clothing manufacturer in Auckland.

“I worked because I liked working,” she said.

The family moved to Gisborne in 1951. They travelled here in their 1948 Ford Anglia and son David remembers the journey from Opotiki to Gisborne took them almost five hours. He said the Waioeka Gorge road back then was just two wheel tracks.

The family settled into a state house in Gladstone Road, then another in Grafton Road before buying their first home in Lytton Road.

The couple ran the dairy across from the YMCA on Roebuck Road for many years, with Mrs Hemsley at the shop- front while Mr Hemsley worked at the port as a waterside worker.

After the couple retired they held a lot of garage sales to help fund a three-month road trip travelling in Australia, from New South Wales to Cape York at the top of Queensland.

Mrs Hemsley was born in Christchurch in 1919. The family never had a car but lived centrally in Madras Street, she said.

She was the eldest of four children. Her younger sister Shirley, who is 97, is travelling down from Auckland to help her sister celebrate with a big family lunch at the Gisborne RSA on Saturday.

The family has extended to include four great-great-grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren and five grandchildren.

There was also a special visitor from Scotland, who there will be more about in tomorrow’s paper.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Should the Gisborne District Council consider easing restrictions around freedom camping?​