Celebrating 100 years in a Fairview's Retirement Village

Thursday 21 May 2020, 4:41PM
By Beckie Wright

Reaching 100 is a milestone in anyone’s book, but to still be living an independent life in a lifestyle village is a joy. When she celebrated her 100th birthday at Fairview Lifestyle Village in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore on Thursday 7th May 2020, Nancy Whitlock did not think she would be in a COVID-19 lockdown and unable to enjoy the planned family celebration. 

Having already received congratulatory messages from the Queen, the governor-general and the Prime Minister, this self-effacing lady would have disregarded the accolades just to be with her loving family. Nancy’s son, Malcolm is her designated visitor so he was with her in her first-floor apartment, and he had organised for members of the family to take turns during the day to entertain their grandmother from next to the bowling green below her balcony, complete with musical instruments. 

At 11am granddaughter Anya, partner and children sang “Happy Birthday” and later in the day grandson James and his family did the same, singing at a safe and social distance – on the terrace below the apartment, while grandma was sitting on her deck. 

All in all, Nancy has three sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and a Skype call was arranged for sons Bryan in Auckland and Vaughan in Brisbane to join in the celebrations. 

At 100, Nancy is just about as sharp as she was when she was named Dux at her Christchurch school in the 1930s. Throughout her life, Nancy was an avid traveller, from the time she and her husband Sid spent fourteen months in a campervan travelling through Europe in 1970, to her last trip on a Queen Victoria cruise to celebrate her 90th birthday ten years ago. 

As president of the Women’s Fellowship Group, Nancy is an avid churchgoer, and regularly attended the Takapuna Methodist Church. With the restrictions of the current lockdown, Nancy still manages to listen to the online service every Sunday.  

Fairview residents baked her a cake and made a pearl-encrusted card for her special day – a day to celebrate a life well lived, so for more information on Fairview Lifestyle Village and Albany retirement villages please go to