100 years of 'a good life' celebrated

17:00, Aug 08 2014

"I didn't live a fancy life but I lived a good life."

Humble words from Invercargill woman Helen Lane, who turns 100 today.

She will celebrate her birthday with about 50 family and friends at Peacehaven Village.

The celebration comes after a tough week - the centenarian suffered a stroke on Monday, scaring her family, but is recovering well.

Yesterday, with a sparkle in her eye and warm laugh, she said there was no real secret to living a long life.

"It sort of crept up on me . . . I'm wondering what all the fuss is about."


Growing up in Spar Bush, just outside Invercargill, Mrs Lane said she had fond memories of life in the country.

It was a simple life, but it was a good one, Mrs Lane said.

"We lived in the country on the farm but we made our own fun."

She does not remember exactly when she met her husband, Leslie "Jimmy" Lane, but said he was a "fine man".

"I didn't mind falling in love with him."

Mr Lane died about nine years ago, in his 90s.

She recalled her three children having many friends, whom they often brought home to visit.

"They used to love mum's tomato sammies," she said.

Daughter Yvonne Morgan fondly remembered her mum's pikelets with cream, sewing clothing for the family, from singlets to overcoats, and an incredible passion for gardening.

Mrs Lane proudly shows photos of her gardens to visitors.

"I love flowers; I like growing things," she said.

She had a few choice words of advice for youngsters.

"Behave, but have a good time," she said with a wry grin.

The Southland Times