Sunday, December 10, 2023

Avid pianist celebrates 100 years young

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Muriel Henderson of the Summerset by the Park retirement village celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends last month.

Muriel Henderson, a resident of the Summerset by the Park retirement village in Flat Bush, has marked the golden milestone of 100 years.

Muriel celebrated her century surrounded by friends and family at the retirement village on Monday, March 27, a day after her birthday, where she was “spoilt rotten”.

She says her favourite present of the day was her card from the monarch King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla.

One of Muriel’s two sons, Paul, says when he looks back on her 100 years, the most prolific part of her life was her love of playing the piano.

“Without reaching great heights, she did very well with the piano and it’s great that she is still able to play it today.”

Born in Christchurch in 1923, Muriel began playing the piano at the age of seven and made a career out of teaching the art to others.

When asked what year she retired, Muriel laughed and said she’s not sure she ever did, still teaching music to one or two pupils every so often.

Muriel became only the third person in 17 years to turn 100 while living on her own at the Summerset in the Park retirement village.

She has now been a resident there for six years.

“Everyone here is very friendly and makes each day very entertaining,” she says.

She is often seen walking throughout the village with her trademark smile and sitting at the piano for hours at a time.

Muriel says while she doesn’t believe in a secret to a long life, she has really enjoyed living.

“I’ve lived a great life and still have a few more years left in me,” she says.

“She’s always been there for her family and helped us when we needed it, so she has been a good mum,” Paul says.

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