Great-grandmother clocks up century

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A Queenstowner who recently celebrated her 100th birthday has a 57-year association with the Wakatipu. 

Lavinia Chisholm’s (right)family say she wasn’t too happy when her late husband Archibald cribbed 100 pounds from the family benefit to buy a Frankton section in 1953. 

Their subsequent Lake Avenue holiday home, one of the first built in Frankton, didn’t have water, power or road access back then. 

The Chisholms and their four children took the then four-hour drive from Invercargill to the Wakatipu property most weekends. 

When Archibald died 24 years ago, the family renovated the house and Lavinia, who turned 100 on March 23, moved in. 

About 18 months ago, she left Lake Avenue for the nearby Wakatipu Home for the Elderly – she’d only given up driving a few years earlier. 

Her three sons, Ken, Hec and Snow, also live in Queenstown, as did her late daughter, Lavinia. 

She has eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. 

Daughter-in-law Dot Chisholm says Lavinia, who owned a bakehouse in Bluff with her husband for 35 years, was always a hard worker. 

“She was not above picking up a nail and a hammer and nobody could cook oysters or fish like ‘Nan’”, Dot adds. 

“She still likes her dozen raw oysters every so often, and loves a gin most nights.”