105yo Christchurch man still going strong, drives himself to his birthday party

Not many can say they've driven themselves to their 105th birthday party, but Bill Mitchell did exactly that on Saturday.

The WWII veteran celebrated his milestone birthday at the Christchurch RSA on Saturday afternoon.

He's been behind the wheel since he was 16 and, despite now being a centenarian, he's still on the road.

"I used to drive from Waimate to Timaru and back, because there wasn't so many cars in those days, and they weren't so fast," he says.

These days Mr Mitchell doesn't drive quite as far, but he still takes his car out once or twice a week.

He's had to renew his licence every two years since he turned 80.

"I've just taken it as second nature really," he says.

Mr Mitchell enlisted in the Air Force in 1939. A lifetime member of the Christchurch RSA, he's heavily involved in the club, and well known as a bit of a character.

"He's got a lifetime of stories," says Pete Dawson, Christchurch Memorial RSA president. "He's still driving his car. I understand it's been renewed for a further two years. He's just a genuine Kiwi bloke - you know, he's a great guy."

On Saturday Mr Mitchell celebrated his milestone birthday with his three children, four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

He marked the occasion with a drink or two and left someone else to do the driving home.