It isn't known if Lena Walker celebrated her birthday in 1988 with 76 trombones, but she had a candle, and a young singer of 'Happy Birthday,' for every one of her record 109 years when she marked another milestone on Friday.
There were so many candles that the local fire brigade was there to light them, and to remain on standby, and children from Paihia Primary, Paihia Early Childhood Centre, Oromahoe and Pakaraka schools to help her blow them out and to sing 'Happy Birthday.'
It all went off without a hitch, family and friends joining staff and fellow residents at Radius Baycare, in Haruru, where she now lives.
They included grandson Paul Eley, from Whangārei, granddaughter Mikaela and great-great-granddaughter Harper.
Rest home staff presented an appropriately large birthday cake.
Eley said the children helped his grandmother open her gifts, including a mink blanket and a mattress topper, along with cards from the Queen, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"They showed them to Lena and said what they were," he said.
"Some of the kids asked her about what she did when she was little and what she did for a job. She enjoyed that. She had a really good time. She was more sprightly now than other times I've seen her.
"She enjoyed the singing and dancing the kids were doing for her. It was the kids who made her day."
Rest home activities manager Pauline Ferris said everyone had an "awesome day." The children, and Lena, had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
"She was quite overwhelmed," she said.
Lena Evelyn Wilkinson was born on June 11, 1912, and is officially the oldest woman in New Zealand. She grew up in Shannon, in the Manawatū, and began her working life in Wellington, as a seamstress. at 17.