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James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Work key to long life says Herald stalwart

Centenarian Howard Pollard cuts the cake to celebrate his milestone in Hamilton yesterday. Picture / Christine Cornege
Centenarian Howard Pollard cuts the cake to celebrate his milestone in Hamilton yesterday. Picture / Christine Cornege

Howard Pollard's secret to a long life is simple: "It's all about work, work and more work."

The former New Zealand Herald veteran yesterday celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends in Hamilton where messages from the Queen, Governor-General and Prime Minister were read out.

Mr Pollard's sight is gone, he's hard of hearing and needs some help from caregivers, but he has retained his sharp mind and wit which he puts down to just one thing. "I have always worked hard, all my life. When I knocked off [working] I looked after my wife but now I'm forgetting names and memories and those sorts of things, old age is catching up on me."

Mr Pollard's career with the Herald began in the early 1920s when he delivered the newspaper around central Hamilton from the back of a horsedrawn cart with his dad, Charlie.

"We used to start at 11am because it came by train and it would usually take us about four hours.

We had 20 acres and we had cows that we would milk beforehand."

Charlie Pollard died suddenly at 47 in 1930, making his only son the family's main breadwinner and owner of his Herald agency business at just 16.

Mr Pollard went to war and was seriously injured while fighting the Japanese in the Treasury Islands in 1943. When he returned to his wife Elsie and son Peter in Hamilton, he took up bee-keeping.

In 1948, Herald owners Wilson & Horton offered him the Hamilton distribution manager role which he held until he retired in 1972. He worked for almost 30 years after retirement, buying a farm in Taupiri, then a business producing cut flowers for export to Japan. Aged 85, he and his wife moved back to Hamilton.

- NZ Herald

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