Christchurch's oldest living person turns 108 - 'the most hospitable and charitable woman'

Few of us would be lucky enough to get a letter from the Queen, but how about nine?

Mary 'Dot' Judkins, turned 108 today, making her the oldest living person in Christchurch and potentially the South Island.

To celebrate the occasion, family gathered at Bishopspark Retirement Village in Christchurch to cut a special cake, a tradition they've maintained since Dot turned 100.

Dot has a huge legacy, having nine children, 29 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

There’s a lot of success in her family tree.

Son Robin Judkins established the Coast to Coast multisport event, granddaughter Dr Anne Judkins won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in the 10,000m race walk and another of her granddaughters was a top New Zealand equestrian rider.

She’s never been afraid of adventure, walking the Milford Track in her 70s, flying to Paris by herself at the age of 91 and taking a scenic trip in a charter plane on her 100th birthday with her son.

Dot also loves to go out for rides in Robin’s vintage Mercedes Benz, with the hood down of course.

Dot came from a family of horse riders, which rubbed off on her children as well.

“My mother is the horse whisperer, she was such a great rider”, daughter Beth explained.

As a young girl Dot represented Otago in hockey and played golf and bridge for most of her life.

Beth says even at the age of 108, her mother has always wanted to help those in need, saying "she’s the most hospitable and charitable woman I’ve ever met".

By Joey Dwyer

Mary 'Dot' Judkins turned 108 on March 14.
Mary 'Dot' Judkins turned 108 on March 14. Source: SUPPLIED