Recipe for a long life

Catherine Reddoch, 100.
Catherine Reddoch, 100.

Catherine Reddoch is 100 years old and "loving it". The Matamata centurion, known to most as Cat, has found a recipe for a long and happy life.

At about lunchtime every day, you'll find her sitting in "Cat's Corner" at the local McDonald's, tucking into a cheeseburger and hot chocolate – her lunch every day since two months after she and late husband Neil moved to New Zealand from Scotland in 1988. .

That's more than 8000 cheeseburgers and 8000 hot chocolates.

The couple lived in Paraparaumu then.

The manager of the store noticed the regular customers after a few more months, and decided the meal was on the house.

"He said you can have it free," she says. "He said, `You've earned it'."

When Neil died in 1989 from an injury suffered when he served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in World War II, Catherine moved to Matamata, where she now lives at the RSA flats.

She's surrounded by some of Neil's paintings and photos of her family, including sisters Mary, 86, and Jenny, 93, who live in England and Scotland respectively.

A round trip to McDonald's can take her up to two hours, but she says: "I like walking."

McDonalds made a plaque for "her corner" last May for her 100th birthday.

Sunday News