"Scottish blood and good food" is the secret to living a long life, says a Tauranga woman celebrating her 100th birthday today.

Speaking to the Bay of Plenty Times ahead of her birthday morning tea today, Christina Barrie said she was "really lucky".

"I've got such great family and friends. I'll be the head of the class for my birthday."

Her daughter Jan Whiting said her mother still liked to go camping. "We've got an old caravan and she still goes there with me."

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Mrs Barrie said: "I like to go to bed early at the caravan and lie and listen to them all talking. They will shout something to me and I'll answer."

Mrs Barrie was born in Dumbarton, Scotland, and said she had a good time growing up there.

I've got such great family and friends. I'll be the head of the class for my birthday.

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She is the last surviving of her seven siblings.

"We had donkeys. My brothers would put me on the donkeys' backs and make them jump so I would fall off."

While growing up was fun, it was also hard, she said.

"I had to walk two miles to school. We had to walk across a river and when it was flowing high you would get your wellies soaking wet."

Mrs Barrie who worked as a nurse for soldiers recovering from war wounds during World War II married in 1945 and had two children. She moved to New Zealand in 1972 with her daughter Jan Whiting and she worked at Auckland Hospital for nine years.

The two moved to Tauranga in 1981 where she has lived with her daughter since. "I like New Zealand, it's good. Everybody that I know still keeps together," Mrs Barrie said.

She loved having her family and friends around and had helped raise her grandson while his mother returned to work.

Mrs Barrie and her grandson David Whiting were "joined at the hip", she said.

"She's like a second mum to me," Mr Whiting said.

Mrs Barrie said she looked forward to her birthday, and was excited to receive a birthday card from the Queen.

Mrs Whiting said her mother had made friends both young and old and was called nana by everyone.

Mrs Barrie spent four days a week at the Enliven Carruth Day Care Programme and said she had great friends there.

She will celebrate her birthday at a morning tea with friends today and a dinner on Saturday which 80 people are expected to attend.


What happened in 1915

* House of Representatives rejects proposal to give women right to vote.
* Japan claims economic control of China.
* 78,000 Anzac troops fight in Gallipoli.
* Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations.
* US forces invade Haiti, stay until 1924.
* Czar Nicolaas II takes control of Russian Army.
* Albert Einstein publishes the General Theory of Relativity.