Walter Malcolm's kitchen wall is covered with colourful birthday cards, and there are still more on the benchtop.
But two stand out — one from New Zealand's Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy and one from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"She looks good doesn't she," says Walter as he looks over at Her Majesty's photo gracing the front of the card.
"She sets a fine example. Even when she lost the Duke, she only took a couple of weeks off and then got back to work."
Walter respects hard work. It's one of the things he credits with helping him reach his 100th birthday.
"Hard work and decent meals."
Walter's father was a hard worker and he expected his sons to do a hard day's work too.
"It doesn't do you any harm," Walter says. "Dad lived until he was 98. He'd have had you believe he was 100, but he was 98."
Walter's mother worked hard too ... with three sons and three daughters she also did her share of hand-milking the family's 38 dairy cows.
"When there was mention of milking by machine she was horrified," Walter says. His mother was also responsible for the aforementioned decent meals.
"We ate lots of veges. Everyone had a vegetable garden. There were two families at Ruataniwha where we had the family farm. One man who had a family of eight dug an acre of garden with a shovel. It was a different world back then."
Walter's earliest memories are of the farm at Ruataniwha, helping pick, pack and export fruit from their 1200-tree orchard. It was from that farm that he packed up and went off to fight in WWII.
He remembers leaving New Zealand on the troop ship Aquitania, watching his country's coastline recede.
"A lot of us were thinking the same thing ... would we get back to see it again?"
Walter considers himself very fortunate to have come back. He fought until he was captured in Italy, where the prisoners were crammed into enclosed cattle trucks and taken across country for four days with no food or water. Walter was put to work for a Munich brewery, helping with deliveries.
"There, I was most at risk from our own bombs. We'd get the delivery horses to safety and then try and get into a shelter.
"Sometimes it was just a matter of lying in the gutter and hoping.
"Those Germans knew how to make beer," he muses. "But that clown Hitler neeed to be stopped. He even ruined his own country.
"The civilian population suffered so much, the children and their mothers. War is a terrible thing."
Once back home Walter put his work ethic to good use, working on his brother's Poukawa orchard and travelling to Otane every weekend to establish his own farm on bare land he had purchased.
"There was nothing there. Inititally we lived in a shed."
He built a house, bought more land and became a successful farmer. With wife Peggy he had a family of his own ... a family he is very proud of and claims as his biggest and best achievement."
"Three sons and a daughter. And now 23 great-great-grandchildren. I appreciate my family and really enjoy the children."
Many of them attended his 100th birthday celebration on September 7, which due to Covid had to be confined to home.
"We had a big event planned at Oruawharo, but that's had to be postponed.
"Up until the day itself I hadn't thought a great deal about turning 100. When the cards started coming I realised what a special birthday it was.
"On the day you can't absorb everything, but I've had a chance now to catch up on it and appreciate it all."
Walter says along with hard work and good meals, he has also been very lucky: Lucky to get back home from the war, and lucky to have New Zealand as his home.
"It's a wonderful country. Civilian life is good. I gained a real appreciation of it."