Saturday, 11 July 2020


Happy birthday, Gwen!

Good friends, music and her favourite Liquorice Allsorts were all on the menu on Thursday last week when well-known Whitianga personality, Gwen Hamilton, celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Gwen, who documented her life story in “The Book of Gwenifer” in 2014, marked the occasion at home with a morning tea.

The lively centenarian spent the morning chatting with visitors and reminiscing about old times, even recalling her time as a writer with the Mercury Bay Informer. Specifically, she remembered being asked to write a story about The Coroglen Tavern, even though she had never been inside a pub in her life. To rectify the situation, the Whitianga Senior Citizens Club arranged one of their luncheons to be held at the tavern.

Whitianga Senior Citizens president, Adrian Telders, said Gwen never misses the club’s monthly lunches. She also plays cards when the club members get together every week and continues to keep up to date with everything happening around the Mercury Bay area.

Gwen still lives at home, surrounded by lots of happy memories. Members of the Mercury Bay Lionesses pop in regularly to help her with some housework and to make sure she has everything she needs.

Gwen is a life member of five different organisations - Whitianga Senior Citizens, Probus Whitianga (now called Peninsula Penultimates), the Tairua Indoor Bowling Club, the New Zealand RSA Women’s Section and the Whitianga RSA, of which she is the only living female life member.

Pictured is Gwen on Thursday morning.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.