Margaret Begg celebrates 100 years

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By SHELLEY TOPP

The function was held at Rossburn Receptions with a large number of Margaret’s family and friends attending. Most of the guests were from North Canterbury but some also travelled from Nelson, Timaru and Auckland for the special day.

It was a big surprise for Margaret who was told she was being taken out for afternoon tea but when she arrived at the function she was overwhelmed by the size of the venue and the number of people attending.

“I thought we must have been at the wrong place,” she said.

Margaret’s daughter, Christine Chinnery, from Leithfield, said her mother was born in Rangiora on July 24, 1917. Margaret’s parents, John (Jack) and Dinah Hide were both born in New Zealand. They were farmers and had a small farm on Main Drain Road in Fernside.

Margaret was their third youngest child of nine and the youngest of four daughters.

Margaret met her husband, Joseph (Joe) Begg, at one of the regular dances held back then at Ohoka and Fernside.

They married on May 24, 1941 in Rangiora and began their married life together in Swannanoa, where they were farmworkers, before moving to Southbrook until 1954 when they moved again, this time to Kaiapoi. Margaret worked at Lichfield Shirts in Kaiapoi as an examiner of the finished garment for about 30 years and Joe worked as a shepherd at the Belfast Freezing Works until his death in 1973.

She remained in Kaiapoi until February this year and now lives in Woodend at Bloomfield Retirement Court. Margaret and Joe had two other children, Basil and Owen, who are both deceased. She has seven grandchildren, six great-granddaughters and four great-grandsons.

Margaret was a bright scholar and a talented athlete in her youth. She was awarded the Dux medal at Fernside School in 1930, and played basketball (now netball), for the Ohoka Basketball Club and was in the winning A Team in 1936. In September 2014, as one of Fernside Schools’ eldest former pupils, Margaret had the honour of cutting the jubilee cake at the school’s 150th Jubilee celebrations.

She is a keen traveller and has had several overseas trips to England, Scotland, Canada, Fiji and Australia.

Christine said her mum also loves gardening, has a great sense of humour and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

“Mum has always loved to have people around her and still loves to have a laugh, and enjoys listening to and telling a mild joke or two,” Christine said.