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Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have celebrated a fair few birthdays.

I remember as a mere sapling in England my mum always made sure my special day was just that.

Naturally I'd have a party and all my mates from school would rock along to help me devour chocolatey sweets and creamy cakes. All that stuff we wouldn't get on a day-to-day basis.

Read more: 'Best' way to celebrate Whangārei man's 100th birthday

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Ripping open the pressies was always a highlight. Usually, it would be a box of plastic soldiers someone's mum had stashed away

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