Around 40 family members and friends gathered in Whanganui yesterday for Trixie Seccombe's 100th birthday.

The birthday girl enjoyed a special afternoon tea, including birthday cake, at Masonic Lodge Rest Home, where she lives.

Her eldest daughter, Colleen Beaumont, said Mrs Seccombe found such a big social occasion tiring, although she enjoyed catching up with her family.

And it wasn't very long ago that Trixie would have been the life and soul of the party, Ms Beaumont said.


"She only moved to the rest home when she was 93. Even into her 90s she still walked into town regularly and did her shopping. She's always been a very sociable person and she just has a way of making everyone feel special."

Mrs Seccombe [nee Nash] was born in Auckland, one of four children.

She married Colin Seccombe, who was in the RNZAF during World War II, and the couple had two daughters. Mrs Seccombe has 22 descendants in total, including one great-great-grandson.

Her husband died in 2004.

The family spent some time in Taumarunui, where Mrs Seccombe helped her husband with his photography business.

"We went to Taumarunui because there were no other photographers in Taumarunui at that time," Ms Beaumont said. "Trixie helped with mounting the photographs after they were printed."

In her younger days, Mrs Seccombe was a very talented dressmaker. Ms Beaumont said she can remember her mother making very beautiful clothes.

Ms Beaumont puts her mother's long life down to good health.

"She's always been very sensible about her health, and has always been active."