Newsletter Article 2006 – Christmas my way

Wrap up Christmas 2006

Christmas my way

Rona McCarthy has 90 Christmases behind her and still looks forward to each new occasion.

“It’s a special time for the family, more so as you get older. I love watching the children opening their presents. It’s their time.” So this year, with two-year-old great-grandson Riley opening presents himself for the first time, promised to equal those when her own daughter was young.

Then, the family made the four-hour drive to Rona’s father’s in Taupo. More recently, Christmas has been a “proper” roast with pav and fruit salad afterwards, crackers and a big lit-up Christmas tree, at her daughter’s Waimarama beach house.

This year her granddaughter is expecting a baby so ‘Christmas’ was early and a barbecue. Still a real family occasion though – daughter, two grandchildren and Riley all together at Waimarama.

But Rona is used to change. Her 90 years have spanned a successful sporting career as a bronze-winning sprinter-hurdler at the 1938 Empire Games, a New Zealand basketball team member and 42 years coaching basketball, a contribution recognised with an MBE in 1979 and a New Zealand Athletics Association award in 1998.

Even now she won’t sit idle. Still driving, she belongs to Probus, a knitting group and a travel club, and her garden is immaculate with alstromeria to fill vases and rows of petunias promising summer colour.

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