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Plain living, says birthday girl of her 108 years

Hazel could be oldest woman in Manawatu

JOHANNA CLELAND
Last updated 12:00 15/01/2014
Hazel Northcott
WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ
BIRTHDAY GIRL: Hazel Northcott blows out the candles on her cake.

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Hazel Northcott remembers being a young girl taller than the phoenix palms at Palmerston North's Victoria Esplanade.

Believed to be the oldest person in Manawatu, Mrs Northcott celebrated her 108th birthday yesterday but said she did not feel any different.

"You just feel as if you are a nuisance, especially when you can't walk," Mrs Northcott said.

While she may not be as mobile as she once was, Mrs Northcott still had her sense of humour.

She joked that when her eldest son was born she said doctors could have him back since they had previously told her she would not be able to have children.

For her birthday Mrs Northcott played bingo yesterday morning and went out for a big family lunch before heading back to the Masonic Court Home for high tea with the residents.

Born in 1906, Mrs Northcott was raised in Palmerston North and attended Palmerston North Girls' High School.

She has spent her whole life in the region and has lived in Palmerston North, Feilding and Bunnythorpe.

"I've been happy here - I had a good husband, so that's something."

She married Stan Northcott in 1931 and their honeymoon was spent in Hawke's Bay shortly after the earthquake.

"We went into a hotel where they still had the jerry under the bed - it was an experience."

Mrs Northcott also remembers going to Sunday school at All Saints church at the back of the property before the big church was built.

She said back then you had to use the tunnel on Pitt St that went under the railway tracks to get there.

Mrs Northcott said she grew up in a typical Kiwi family and she put her long life down to "plain living".

"All home-grown vegetables, you know mostly plain food."

After her husband died in 2011, aged 94, Mrs Northcott lived by herself until she turned 104 and moved to the rest home.

She said she enjoyed doing wordfinder puzzles and got her eldest son, Bryan, to check them for her.

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- Manawatu Standard

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