The common saying "You are only as old as you feel" could be said to apply to Rotorua seniors featured in the upcoming Ageing with Attitudephotographic exhibition.

The exhibition is being staged by Rotorua Age Concern and opens on September 5.

Rotorua Age Concern health promoter Mary Ann Nixon said the project aimed to celebrate the significant contribution Rotorua's older citizens of all ethnicities made to the community.

This could be through sport, education, service clubs, business, voluntary work, cultural activities or spiritual life, she said.

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"I'm delighted with the photographs, and the subjects have been so generous with sharing their time and stories with us for this project.

"Older people aren't invisible, they are valuable members of our community and deserved to be recognised as such."

Mrs Nixon said undoubtedly there were many other worthy subjects. However, those chosen were designed to represent all of Rotorua's residents.

With an average age of 78.8 years, the life stories of the 16 subjects who have racked up 1261 years between them, are both enlightening and inspiring.

The one thing they have in common is their "attitude", mainly a passion for people and for life.

Photographer Jason Hamon said it had been a pleasure to try and capture the essence of the selected residents.

Jill Marshall, who interviewed them for the accompanying biographies, found them "inspirational".

The exhibition will be held in the upstairs Galleria of the Rotorua Lakes Council building and will be officially opened on September 2 by People Portfolio leader and Councillor Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.

It will be open to the public from September 5 to November 4, and free access to the exhibition is available from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday and Friday.

It is supported by First Sovereign Trust and Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.