Playing pool and checking out op-shops are two pursuits enjoyed by Te Puke Country Lodge's oldest resident, 103-year-old Elizabeth Forbes.

Mrs Forbes celebrated her birthday on Monday with a morning tea for family and friends at the rest home.

Born in Scotland, she arrived in New Zealand with her husband and two sons in 1961.
Her husband Alexander and oldest son Eric have both passed away.

But younger son Ken and his wife Pat live in Papamoa, where Mrs Forbes came to live in her late 90s.


The Scottish trait of thrift surfaced when she'd finished packing up her house in Auckland to move to Papamoa. She hitched a ride with her furniture in the moving lorry.

Friends she made while living in Papamoa attended her morning tea as guests.

They spoke fondly of their gentle Scottish friend whom they regularly visit and take on outings.

"She loves op shopping," said one, who took her to Waipuna Hospice shop earlier in the year.

"She likes it there because it's roomy enough for her walker. She checks out all the sections and goes back a second time if she hasn't found anything to buy."

Staff at the rest home say Mrs Forbes likes playing pool - and she's pretty good at it too.

"You have to watch her playing pool, she knows all the tricks," her son said.

Another hobby she's taken to is making teddy bears to give away. She knits them, puts eyes on them and stuffs them.

Her family has steadily grown since the four moved to New Zealand. In recent times she has acquired three great-great grandchildren, who join her three great-grandchildren and three grandchildren.