Kath Smith isn't overly fussed about turning 100 years old.

There've been too many birthdays already, she says.

"It's a bit like your 21st, you think you're going to feel different but you don't," she said.

Mrs Smith, who was born in London and moved to Whanganui when she was 6, celebrates her hundredth birthday on Saturday.


Up until recently, when her sight began to fail, Mrs Smith has been knitting for charity, sending cot covers overseas.

Mrs Smith's first husband, Reginald Roche, died in the war, and her second husband, William Smith, a returning officer, died of cancer when he was 61.

Upon leaving school she worked at the Southern Cross Biscuit Factory until she married Mr Roche, after which she focused on caring for her family.

She has three children and a number of grandchildren, or "plenty of little beggars" as she calls them.

When a loved aunt died, she left Mrs Smith "a few bob" and told her to spend it.

"She said 'Don't bank it, spend it on travel,' which I did, so that's how I travelled most of the world."

Mrs Smith's favourite country to visit was Austria, for "the scenery and all that".

She will celebrate her birthday at Masonic Court.