Green veges, sherry the secret to a century

Mrs Win Farrell is set to turn 100 next month. Times photo Wayne Martin

Green vegetables, sherry and lots of exercise are the key to a long life, says one local centenarian.

Mrs Winifred Farrell, who turns 100 next month, says keeping active is crucial to reaching the big milestone.

And don’t forget the all important posture.

“Head up, shoulders back, don’t slouch,” she instructs me as I try my best to correct my form.

The long-time Howick local moved to New Zealand from England in 1947 with her husband and initially settled in Northcote — but it wasn’t long before she fell in love with Howick.

She recounts the story of one day being invited to visit a friend in Howick and, as she rounded that famous corner from Ridge Road onto Picton Street, she fell in love with the breathtaking view that locals know and love.

“That’s it…that’s where I want to live,” she decided.

And so they packed up and moved across town.

Mrs Farrell, alongside her husband, ran the Auckland Star evening news delivery in Howick for a number of years where she was responsible for managing the accounts and young delivery boys.

She also earned her keep while saving for a house by housekeeping for the former Mayoress of Howick, wife of Sir William Stevenson.

But through it all, she never stopped being active.

“Walking is essential. It keeps you going.”

She fondly recalls saving for a tandem bicycle with her husband — of which she sometimes used to have to get off and walk while her husband cycled up the big hills.

They then saved enough for a motorbike and then a car before buying a campervan which they used to travel around in weekends.

She matched her active lifestyle with a healthy diet and she hasn’t let that habit slip. In fact she tells the rest home staff off if they don’t serve up enough leafy greens with dinner!

But 100 doesn’t really feel all that different to anything else, she says in her matter-of-fact tone.

“You can still do everything at 100.”