100 year old man remembers an event 97 years ago
One-hundred-year-old Norman Dickie is nearly deaf and nearly blind but his long term memory remains sharp.
He still remembers an event when he was three years old, in 1919.
He was at a carnival at Gore's Eccles St Reserve for a celebration of the peace treaty signing after World War 1.
"I remember lots of soldiers about in their uniforms. They let off fireworks," Dickie said.
Old age might be catching up with him, but "it's going good up top", he said.
Dickie, who spent his first 74 years on the family farm near Gore and the last 26 years of retirement in Gore, celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends and a trip to the old family farm at Croydon Siding at the weekend.
He looks back fondly on a life well lived; he was married to the late Gladys Dickie [nee Mackay] for 48 years, had two sons who live with him at his Gore home and has enjoyed many decades involvement in astronomy.
Astronomy has played a big part in his life.
A member of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand for more than 70 years, the single biggest highlight of his life was going to Northland to witness an eclipse of the sun in 1965.
"There was a magnificent halo around the sun, it was a beautiful thing."
A former Croydon Siding Primary School and Gore High pupil - who got the cane six times - the biggest change he witnessed was when electricity arrived at his rural family home in 1925.
"It meant we no longer played around with candles and kerosene lamps," he said.
When asked the secret to long life he was quick to reply.
"One was I was a non smoker but by far the most important was I didn't play rugby football."
He reckons he would have died 40 years ago if he had played rugby because of the strain it would have put on his body.
He has also eaten porridge for breakfast throughout his life.
"I still take interest in a few things and still have a bit of fun."
- The Southland Times