It was a celebration fit for a soldier.
Over the weekend Eric Wilson, war veteran and long-time Howick RSA member, celebrated his 100th birthday.
Around 100 family and other invited guests joined the centenarian in celebrating this milestone occasion.
The afternoon was filled with laughs and reminiscing on Eric’s adventure-filled life.
His daughter Noeline read out the telegrams from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and most importantly the Queen.
Paul Couch Captain, representing the 6 Hauraki regiments and Regimental Association also spoke and gifted Eric a copy of ‘Comrades Brave’, the unit’s centennial volume covering the period 1898 to 1998.
Eric was also presented a special commemorative coin by Lieutenant Colonel Roger Erat representing the NZ Defence Force.
His eldest granddaughter Tracey Bowyer gave a heartfelt speech filled with loving anecdotes of Eric’s life.
“It is measureable by the amount of people here to celebrate you, Poppa, what a truly special man you are,” Tracey said.
“You have shared in our lives and touched our hearts in different ways with your generosity of time and kindness.”
She spoke of Eric’s fierce commitment to family, tenacious timekeeping, great storytelling and even his inability to watch someone park their car without giving pointers.
“Have you ever pulled up somewhere and of course Eric is there first and at the ready to tell you how to park?
“’Right, back in, left hand down, hard round, hard round, keep it coming. Right, that’ll do’,” she says, imitating her grandfather with the crowd laughing.
Tracey spoke of Eric’s loving relationship with his wife, Doris, his love for his family and his faith that one day he will get lucky and win Lotto.
Her speech honoured Eric and thanked the gathering of guests for being “instrumental in the success, greatness and longevity of this wonderful man’s life.”
Eric celebrated with a few rums and time with friends and family.
Eric’s official birth date was Monday, April 29.