Centenarian receives the best gift

Invercargill RSA members Norman Wilson (left) and Ken Bowie give flowers to Warren Warburton to celebrate his 100th birthday.

INVERCARGILL’S oldest World War 2 veteran marked a personal milestone last week.

Invercargill RSA chairman Norman Wilson and member Ken Bowie took time to visit Warren Warburton last Wednesday to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Mr Warburton was in the 27th Machine Gun and Infantry Battalion of the New Zealand Division and fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino.

A photo of his army days was placed on the table next to him.

Mr Bowie joked he had not changed at all.

“It is because you didn’t see me in the morning, ” Mr Warburton said with a laugh.

Mr Warburton said he still felt the same.

“I feel exactly the same as yesterday and as this time last year,” he said.

“I don’t know why I should be 100. I didn’t do anything special.”

Mr Wilson said it was important to celebrate Mr Warburton on such a special occasion.

“He is turning 100 when RSA is also celebrating 100 years. So we thought we should do something special for him.”

Mr Warburton also celebrated with friends and family at a function at Rowena Jackson Retirement Village.

It was there he received his best present – being with his wife Freda again.

They had been married for 71 years and, in January, she had to move to the hospital wing due to a fall.

“It is so sad to be separated at this stage of the game, but it will be lovely [to see her again].”