An elderly Whangarei man with no family has had a birthday to remember.

Michael Wroughton lives at Parahaki Court Resthome and celebrated his 81st birthday on Monday complete with crayfish and chocolate.

Parahaki Court Resthome worker Amy Fowler put a heartfelt plea on the Buy Sell Swaps Whangarei Facebook page a week ago seeking a crayfish to fulfil Mr Wroughton's dream.

"I am desperately hoping someone can help me," she starts off.


She relayed a conversation she had with Mr Wroughton last week where he told her he didn't have any requests for his birthday but he dreamed of eating crayfish again.

"I have since tried to find some for them but have had no luck so I am here today asking if anyone can please help me as I don't even like fish so have no idea where to go from here," Ms Fowler posted.

The response was overwhelming. The post received more than 100 comments, some with offers of crayfish, others wanting to donate flowers or give presents or cards.

When Ms Fowler told Mr Wroughton about the offers, he told her he wanted to share the crayfish with his fellow residents.

"It would be rather wonderful for everybody, something a bit unusual," Mr Wroughton said.

Ms Fowler accepted the donation of two crayfish, and she said the residents sucked, smashed and devoured the delicacy.

Mr Wroughton said the crayfish "crawled in" on a plate and he thought it was "magnificent".

"Thanks to Amy, she pulled all the strings, got everything together," he said.

His love of crayfish started when he was younger and lived in South Africa. He used to collect the "lovely creatures" just off the shore in Pennington, south of Durban.

Mr Wroughton said his birthday was "quiet wonderful".

"Birthdays have always been quiet in my life, to receive a present was very rare."

He got cards, flowers, chocolates, new slippers and pyjamas.

Mr Wroughton, who was born in Uganda, said he has a brother in South Africa but he has not heard from him in a while, and suspects he has Alzheimers.

Ms Fowler said she certainly did not expect the post to go viral like it did and she was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of people.

The post was shared to another page, called Kai Maori where it had been viewed more than 3000 times and had more than 200 well wishing comments.

Ms Fowler said she usually tries to accommodate the residents' requests for their birthdays, if possible.

"It was just something he said in passing."