Upon reaching her 100 year milestone
On the day Topsy Masefield turned 100 she celebrated by doing her usual Friday activity – a workout with her Gold Fit class buddies at Lynfield YMCA. She was unaware however, of plans afoot to celebrate in style.
After her workout she went to join the others for the usual morning tea in the adjacent room, only to be greeted by a surprise birthday party including Gold Fit buddies and YMCA staff. A quiz about the year she was born (1921), gifts, flowers, a beautiful cake and, of course, a birthday message from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Topsy was both embarrassed and delighted by all the fuss but managed to speak a few words of appreciation.
Topsy, whose real name is Sarah, was born on 9 April 1921 in Wales, in the village of Llandloes, Powys, and was brought up in a cottage that was situated above the local lead mines. On still nights the miners could sometimes be heard in the shafts below.
Before beginning her nursing career at the Oldchurch Hospital in Romford, Essex, Topsy was thrown in the deep end when her sister went into labour. Consequently, she had the privilege of seeing her niece Margaret enter the world. 82 years later, that same niece had the privilege of celebrating Topsy’s centenary with her, having been ‘stranded’ in New Zealand during a visit due to Covid-19 and unable yet to return to the UK.
Topsy trained first in general nursing, then as a midwife and also at the Ilford Isolation Hospital for infectious diseases. During wartime she was walking across a compound with a handful of other nurses when suddenly they had to run for their lives as the area was strafed with bullets from an aerial attack.
As if that wasn’t enough adventure for a lifetime, in 1948 Topsy sailed for New Zealand and worked for two years at the Alexandra Hospital in Wellington. She married Don in 1950 and they had two daughters, Kerrie and Glynne, and a son, Gareth. Topsy also has four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of whom are a source of immense pride to her. She is regarded by them and their extended families as Matriarch and they love her dearly. No family party is complete without her!
Topsy enjoys dining at local cafes and restaurants and is partial to an occasional G&T or scotch. Her family attribute her long life to her positive attitude and her enjoyment of anything that comes her way but, as Topsy herself says, “Take one day at a time, and just keep breathing”.