100 years worth a pie and a cake

A Palmerston North woman who, according to her family, lived on pies and custard squares for 30 years has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Edna Robinson celebrated bringing up a century yesterday with friends and family at the Cook Street Nursing Care Centre.

An eldest daughter, her entire working life was spent in retail.

Ms Robinson's niece, Christine Hobbs, said her aunt spent 60 years running a haberdashery shop in Terrace End.

"She sold virtually everything up there. If you needed anything you went in and saw Edna."

After that, she headed out to Rongotea where she had other smaller shops. She was robbed multiple times, including a violent attack in 1999.

According to a Manawatu Standard report at the time, Ms Robinson suffered a broken arm, cuts and bruising during the attack. "They tied me up with the electric frying pan cord. They had it around my neck," she said.

Her attackers were eventually caught and jailed.

Ms Robinson's sister-in-law, Sylvia Hobbs, said her relative had an interesting diet when she ran the store in Rongotea.

"She lived on pies and custard squares while she owned the shop, for the whole 30 years."

When she sold up in 2000, Ms Robinson's relatives were called in to help.

"She never threw anything out. We needed 11 skip bins to take care of it all," Christine Hobbs said.

Since 2006, she has lived at the Cook Street Nursing Care Centre.

Ms Hobbs said there had been no specific secret to her aunty's longevity. "None of us knows how she's done it."

Manawatu Standard