Mary Sandlant and her granddaughter Rebecca Sandlant marked Mary’s 100th birthday with a party at Summerset in the Sun retirement village. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Mary celebrates her 100 years


Mary Sandlant turned 100 a year earlier than she ever thought she would.

A few years ago, she was looking through some old family documents and stumbled across her birth certificate. It told her that she is actually a year older so her ‘98th’ year only lasted a few weeks.

It also told her that her birthday was not December 12, like she had been celebrating, but actually on December 13.

So last Friday, friends and family gathered at Summerset in the Sun in Stoke and joined in marking Mary’s 100th year.

She was born in Poverty Bay and moved with her husband to Nelson in 1970.

Now she has three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. As for words of wisdom after 100 years, Mary had this to say: “Learn to be tolerant. I think there is so much ill going on around, you have to look on the bright side.”

Mary is an optimist – even managing to get herself out of hospital after puncturing a lung only a couple of weeks earlier. But she still worries about the future.

“I have four beautiful great grandchildren and I wonder what the world will be like for them.”

However, on Friday there was no cause for concern as she was surrounded by love from her friends and family.