The secret to a long life: How an Auckland woman reached 105

She's lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression and the moon landings - and she's got a message for the young people of today: behave yourselves.

Violet Taylor has just celebrated her 105th birthday surrounded by family and friends at Te Mana rest home in Auckland. She may be over a hundred years old, but Ms Taylor still has a very active sense of humour.

Her latest joke? "Time flies, money flies... blow flies."

Ms Taylor was born in 1913, and worked as a teacher before her retirement. 

Two years ago, she lost her sight - but before that she was very active, enjoying walking and swimming. 

"You have to have exercise - you can't just sit down and do nothing," she said.

Ms Taylor's not on any medication - unless you count a daily garlic pill - and now spends her days listening to the radio and playing board games.

Although she says she just led an "ordinary life", Violet does take great care to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When the other residents of Te Mana rest home are enjoying a sweet treat, Ms Taylor has a banana - and any cups of tea are strictly sugar-free.

This year, Ms Taylor received birthday cards from both The Queen and Jacinda Ardern, the 25th Prime Minister to hold office in Violet's lifetime.

Violet coincidentally shares her first name with world record holder Violet Moss-Brown, who died in September last year aged 117.

Ms Moss-Brown was the oldest woman on Earth, and told the Guiness Book of Records there was no secret formula to her long life.

"Really and truly, when people ask what I eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don't drink rum and dem tings."


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