105 years old today
Mrs Caroline Turner Williams – Havelock North’s “gracious” oldest resident – celebrated her 105th birthday today.
Mrs Turner Williams still lives in her own home in Te Mata Rd with her daughter, Miss Margery Turner Williams.
Mrs Turner Williams was resting today after having a busy day yesterday. Miss Turner Williams said that at 105 her mother is frail, but still “very independent.”
Likes to knit
“She dresses herself and when she is up she likes to knit and do some patchwork. She reads the paper and looks at television.
“She has grown old as graciously as anyone could,” Miss Turner Williams said.
Mrs Turner Williams was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1872 and her family moved to Mansfield, Woodhouse, England. when she was eight.
In Mansfield she met her husband, Arthur Edward Turner Williams, the youngest son of Bishop Leonard Turner Williams, Napier.
Married in 1901
The couple were married in 1901 and lived in Epsom, Surrey, during the First World War. They sailed for New Zealand in 1918 and settled in Taradale for three years. They later bought a house in Fitzroy Rd, Havelock North.
After her husband’s death in 1930, Mrs Turner Williams went for a trip to Ceylon. On her return she bought a house in Ellison Rd but in 1942 moved to her present home in Te Mata Rd. She named the house “Green Trees.”
Mrs Turner Williams has always been a community spirited person and in the early 1920s helped Miss Jerome Spencer establish the Country Women’s Institute in Hawke’s Bay.
For many years she was president of the Te Awapuni Maori Institute of which she was a founder along with Mrs Lyndsay Gordon.
She has also been an active member of Red Cross and during the Second World War held work parties in her home every week when members made bandages and covered splints made by Hereworth School pupils.
She also organised sewing circles to make garments for European children in the late 1940s and was also active in dramatic work. She is remembered for her production of the “Pirates of Penzance” at short notice to cheer up people after the 1931 earthquake.