Flying towards 100 is a zip

16:00, Nov 27 2012
Kara Nelson
SURPRISE PRESENT: Kara Nelson celebrated her 93rd birthday by trying out the flying fox at EcoZip.

Kara Nelson is never one to let the grass grow under her feet.

Just to prove it she put some distance between herself and the ground by shooting down a flying fox to celebrate her 93rd birthday.

She hadn't started the day with the intention of an adventure but when she turned up to her birthday party in Onetangi, her friends Trevor Darville and Margaret Mills had organised it for her.

Kara Nelson and Maynie Thompson
GOOD FRIENDS: Ninety-three-year-olds Kara Nelson and Maynie Thompson get kitted out ready to fly through the skies above Onetangi.

So over the road to EcoZip she went and, thanks to the management, her friends who had come to watch her fly took the plunge too.

Kara and her long time chum Maynie Thompson, who celebrated her 93rd birthday in March, flew down together.

"We had a wonderful time," Kara says.


"It was a lovely feeling and there was such a beautiful view."

Kara got an even bigger view on her 90th birthday when she threw herself out of a plane at 12,000 feet in a tandem parachute jump. Maynie was there to witness that event too.

The nonagenarians have always led busy and active lives. The documentary by Susi Newborn and Claudia Pond Eyley, Tea, Scones and Nuclear Disarmament, reveals how they met in the 1980s selling tea and scones at the Ostend market to fund their protests. They went on to travel the world to campaign for nuclear disarmament.

Kara and Maynie are still keen activists but also enjoy having fun. Both are enthusiastic members of the World's Oldest Flash Mob. The pair have been popping up and surprising crowds both on and off the island with their hip hop moves, the last being to mayor Len Brown during the visit by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Kara says it's important for older people to be busy and keep company with younger people.

"You don't have to sit at home getting lonely. Have lots of young friends and do the things they do," she says.

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