Triplets call early night

By Lin Ferguson,

Triplets Elizabeth Porima, Rona Larsen and Ruth Brandon didn't have any special plans for their 81st New Year celebration last night.

In fact, they confessed they wouldn't even bother staying up to see in 2013.

The trio will turn 82 on February 27 and believe they are the oldest Maori triplets in New Zealand.

The three women sparkle - they look years younger than their age, and say life is for getting out and living and laughing as much as you can.

Between them they have 20 children, 45 grandchildren and 54 great-grandchildren.

There are four set of twins in the wider family, they said.

Their bond has remained strong during the years despite them each going their own way. They catch up a few times a year and are always on the phone to each other, they said.

"Oh yes, well, we have to know what's going on," Elizabeth said.

When they were born on Stewart Island in 1931, their mother thought she was only Quiet night as triplets, 81, welcome a new year

having one small baby, Elizabeth said.

"I was the eldest by three hours then came Rona followed by Ruth within five minutes of each other."

Their mother went on to have 10 more children, Elizabeth said.

The triplets spent their first six years living in Oban, Halfmoon Bay, on Stewart Island where their father was a fisherman and one of New Zealand's first deer cullers, she said.

The family moved to Bluff for the children to start school and that's where they grew up before marrying and leaving home, Rona said.

Elizabeth lives in Kawhia in the Waikato and had 10 children. She has 26 grand children and 36 great-grandchildren.

"We all have wonderful families we're so fortunate," she said.

Rona lives in Rotorua and had six children, has 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Ruth lives in Wanganui. She had four children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

"I love Wanganui. I would never want to live anywhere else, it is a lovely town," she said.

Last night, they planned a quiet night in and conceded they would not stay up until midnight.

"No we'll be in bed long before them ... might watch some basketball but no, we won't be up late," Elizabeth said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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