Te Awamutu woman Rien Bell had a lot to celebrate at her 100th birthday on Sunday.
She marked the occasion surrounded by loved ones, some who had travelled from overseas, at a function at Waipā Workingmen's Club.
Rien says she is thankful for a long, healthy and happy life.
She says living one day at a time, and the occasional brandy, is what's helped her reach 100.
When asked what piece of advice she would give to her younger self she says: "I think the most important thing is to teach people to be kind to each other."
And kindness is a quality Rien has extended throughout her life.
She has fond memories of growing up in the 'back blocks' in Wharepūhanga where everyone chipped in around the house.
Rien remembers the simple pleasures of a rural childhood — things like climbing trees and riding her pony to the Mangatūtū River for a swim.
At age 12 Rien was taken out of school to help look after the youngest of her seven siblings.
In her adult life she worked at a private nursing home and was a long-standing volunteer for Riding for the Disabled.
Over the years she has cared for children and families, her parents and parents-in-law in their later years, and anyone from the community in need.
Rien and her husband Michael (Mic) owned a dairy farm in Wharepapa South for 30 years.
They were actively involved in the community, the local indoor bowls, Women's Division, school functions and pony club.
Rien was also a JP for many years and on the vestry of Kihikihi Anglican Church.
She also remembers being the 'unofficial nurse' for the district. She was always quick to help out neighbours when they were sick or injured.
Rien has four children, seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
She has survived three of her brothers and her three sisters. Her youngest Brother Sid was delighted to attend the celebration on Sunday.
For her birthday Rien received a special gift — a portrait by local artist and relative Sue Gordon.
Rien is the first-cousin of Sue's mother.
Sue had planned to include the portrait of Rien in her 25 Faces of Te Awamutu project but thought the portrait would be the perfect birthday present instead.
"I just wanted to do it for her and the family," Sue says.
"When it was unveiled at Rien's birthday on Sunday, her jaw dropped."