After going parasailing on her 104th birthday, and missing out on a ride on a Harley for her 105th due to illness, Whangārei's Ella Bayes had to celebrate her 106th birthday under lockdown.

But that didn't stop the centenarian daredevil from having a great time she caught up with family via online video communication service Zoom.

For her 104th Ella went parasailing in the Bay of Islands and to celebrate her 105th she was to go for a ride on a Harley, but illness prevented that.

Disappointed with missing out on the Harley ride Ella was hoping to go on a Harley trike for her 106th, but the Covid-19 pandemic, and rest homes being closed to visitors, meant she cold not do it.


However, she said she still intends to do it once the lockdown is over, and in the meantime had a wonderful time at Kamo's Jane Mander Retirement Village where she lives.

Ella told the Advocate she enjoyed the party and being able to see all her family despite the lockdown.

''You can't be miserable about these things, what's the point. Life's too short to worry about them, you've just got to get on with it,'' Ella said.

And she's already planning an adventure for her 107th next year, but is keeping it under wraps for now.

Ella's bucket list has already had hot air ballooning and gliding ticked off it; mother and daughter doing the latter at Byron Bay, Australia, for a 95th birthday present.

Ella said there was no reason healthy people couldn't make the most of life, whatever their age.

"I say give it a go, give anything ago," the great-grandmother said.

Jane Mander activities co-ordinator Jazz Phillips said Ella is a legend in the village and is always so much fun to be around.


Phillips said Ella had an amazing birthday on Friday with the Jane Mander staff making sure she had as good a time as she could, under the circumstances.

Ella has seen many things in her life and is one only a handful of people anywhere who has lived through two world wars, the 1918-20 Spanish flu pandemic, the great depression and now the Covid global pandemic, quite an achievement.

Ella Bayes' 106th birthday cake and 7th birthday card from the Queen.
Ella Bayes' 106th birthday cake and 7th birthday card from the Queen.

Phillips said Ella was most surprised on the day to receive another birthday card from the Queen - her seventh from the monarch.

''Ella's amazing. She just takes everything in her stride and she loved seeing all her relatives, particularly her grand children and great-grandchildren. And the Jane Mander
Glee Club sang her happy birthday in the area outside so there was social distancing,'' Phillips said.

Bayes spent her early years at Red Beach, leaving school to work in her father's nursery
business during the Depression.

A keen traveller, she met her future husband Arthur on a Pacific Island cruise in 1939. They married and were dairy farmers until retirement.


Bayes had three children, but her son died. She has five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She had lived on her own in a two-storey house in Auckland until she was 96 before moving north and into Jane Mander.

Phillips said Ella made the staff and residents' days "so much brighter".

Jane Mander activities co-ordinator Jazz Phillips (left), Ella Bayes and her daughter Lynda Brown in the air when, Ella went parasailing in Paihia for her 104th birthday.
Jane Mander activities co-ordinator Jazz Phillips (left), Ella Bayes and her daughter Lynda Brown in the air when, Ella went parasailing in Paihia for her 104th birthday.


Events in 1914, the year Ella Bayes was born:

■ February 2: Charlie Chaplin makes his film debut, in the comedy short Making a Living.


■ March 10: Suffragette Mary Richardson damages Velazquez' painting Rokeby Venus in London's National Gallery, with a meat chopper.

■ March 27: Belgian surgeon Albert Hustin makes the first successful non-direct blood transfusion, using anticoagulants.

■ June 28: Assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungary throne. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife had been inspecting Austro-Hungarian troops in occupied Sarajevo - this was the catalyst for World War I.

■ July 11: Baseball legend Babe Ruth makes his major league debut, with the Boston Red Sox.

■ July 18: Mahatma Gandhi leaves South Africa for the last time, sailing out of Cape Town for England, on board the S.S. Kinfauns Castle.

■ August 1: The official outbreak of World War I as Germany declares war on Russia.


■ August 4: New Zealand declares war on Germany.

■ August 8: Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition sets sail on the Endurance from England, in an attempt to cross Antarctica.

■ August 15: The Panama Canal is inaugurated with the passage of the SS Ancon.

■ December 10: The NZ General Election, which saw William Massey's Reform Government maintain power.

■ December 24: World War I. An unofficial, temporary Christmas truce begins, between British and German soldiers on the Western Front.