A lifetime spent caring for others

By Doug Laing

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Napier centenarian Joyce Larkin with the succeeding generations at a family celebration. Others are: Rear (from left) granddaughter Tina Adam, great-granddaughter Glenda Towgood  (Tina's daughter) and daughter Faye Andrews (Tina's mother), and in front great-great-granddaughter Courtney Towgood. Photo / Paul Taylor
Napier centenarian Joyce Larkin with the succeeding generations at a family celebration. Others are: Rear (from left) granddaughter Tina Adam, great-granddaughter Glenda Towgood (Tina's daughter) and daughter Faye Andrews (Tina's mother), and in front great-great-granddaughter Courtney Towgood. Photo / Paul Taylor

A Napier centenarian's celebration of her 100 years has drawn together five generations of the family from around New Zealand, with best wishes from around the world.

Joyce Larkin, born Lyla Joyce Eagle on March 30, 1916, and raised around Elsthorpe, was joined on Saturday by family including daughter Faye Andrews, of Napier, granddaughter Tina Adam, of Napier, and great-granddaughter Glenda Towgood and great-great granddaughter Courtney Towgood, of Auckland.

Congratulations and best wishes included the traditional "telegram" from the Queen, with letters from Prime Minister John Key, Minister for Seniors Maggie Barry, and Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

Mrs Larkin raised her children from a young age after husband Arthur died in 1950, at the age of 47, and daughter Faye Andrews said she had grown a vegetable garden at the family's Housing Corp home in Russell Rd, Marewa, where she looked after not only her own children but also many others.

She moved to Carlyle St about 28 years ago and remained in her own home until about six weeks ago when she moved to Princess Alexander Hospital, Ahuriri.

Son Brian Larkin said a celebration was held at Princess Alexander on her birthday last Wednesday, and Saturday's gathering at East Pier enabled those from out of town to help mark the occasion, ensuring the ongoing line of mums and daughters could all be present.

Mrs Larkin has 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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