'I have a great deal of optimism' – famous Kiwi atheist Sir Lloyd Geering celebrates 100th birthday

A Wellington man who famously rejected God has lived to be 100 years old.

Former Presbyterian minister Sir Lloyd Geering is the only person to be tried for heresy in New Zealand.

He had spoken out publicly in 1967, saying the "whole world of the supernatural does not exist any more."

Today on his birthday, Sir Lloyd told 1 NEWS that he'd received over a hundred cards, including ones from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Her Majesty the Queen.

He says he's watched the church "go down hill fast" and that we're learning "as a human race to accept ourselves and our differences and become more of a global community."

"I have a good deal of optimism about the community at large," Sir Lloyd says.

Sir Lloyd continues to write, play scrabble and walk every day.

He says that good genes and staying active physically and mentally are the key to a long life.

"My father lived to 100 and he got a message from the Queen and he was looking forward to that and after he received it there wasn't much point in living any longer so he only lasted three months.

"I'm going to last a lot longer than that," Sir Lloyd promised.

Sir Lloyd Geering is the only person to be tried for heresy in New Zealand. Source: 1 NEWS