105 years in Oamaru and Ida couldn’t be happier

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“It’s a dear, wee town,” Ida Langley said yesterday.

If anyone should know, it would have to be Mrs Langley.

On Tuesday she celebrated her 105th birthday which makes her probably the oldest resident in North Otago and she has spent every one of those years in Oamaru.

‘It was a fabulous day,” she said of her birthday. “All go, go, go!”

Mrs Langley was born Ida Lee in Oamaru on January 21, 1909. After marrying her late husband, Jim Langley, she lived at 29 Don St house until she moved into Rendell on Reed when she turned 100.

Asked for the secret to her long life she said: “I don’t know. I haven’t found it yet. Not many live to be 100 but I still like to get about and have fun.”

Mrs Langley’s late husband ran a hairdresser and tobacconist shop in Oamaru.

“Even though he was a tobacconist I never smoked at all,” Mrs Langley said.

Mr Langley operated the shop until the Second World War. When he left for the war he pinned a message on the door: “Gone to give Hitler a trim”.

On his return, he worked in the carpet section of the woollen mills in Oamaru.

Mrs Langley played tennis for the Wesley Club in her younger years and bowls for the Wesley Club later on. She said the town had grown so much since she was a young girl.

Mrs Langley has one daughter, Patricia Caldwell, three grandchildren and seven great grandchildren – all living locally.

Mrs Caldwell said her mother had enjoyed good health all her life.

“I’ve never known her to be really sick. She still does a lot of things herself. She’s so independent.”

By CHRIS TOBIN