Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1). By Renee Hollis

Pledgeme projects

About Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

Project 2017-07-03 18:17:28 +1200

This year I have travelled the length of the country interviewing people living in New Zealand who are aged between 100 and 110!


I have interviewed 110 people from every region in New Zealand. I need support/finance to write up the interviews (stage 1) and put the book together (stage 2).

This will involve dictating hours and hours and hours of interviews. Reading through memoirs, diaries, documents and military records, editing photographs and working on design and layout for the book.          

My goal is to preserve our New Zealand history through sharing stories and memories of our centenarians. I want all New Zealanders to value the elderly and to read and appreciate their stories and contribution to our New Zealand society; but most importantly to not be forgotten or invisible in our communities but honoured and celebrated.

My goal is to have the book completed by the end of this year and ready for publication in 2018. 

Centenarians were asked to talk about an aspect of their life and ageing they wanted to share, understanding that what they chose to tell would be available for public readership. Family have been involved with the interview process (where possible) and consent forms have been signed.


  I have…                                                                                       

   Travelled for 93 days, (13 weeks and 2 days)                                 

   Driven 7,720km and flown 5,000km = 12,050km                                

   (The same distance from New Zealand to Brazil or Russia).                

   Visited 63 rest-homes/retirement villages                                               

   Visited 25 people in their own homes 



      Basic living costs (accommodation, power, food, wifi)

      The cost of rewards including postage and packing.


New Zealand Herald Article: Brothers, 101 and 83, reunite after 35 years 14th July, 2017



Ti Ora - Strawberry & Pomegranate Green Tea with Kawakawa (15x tea bags)


Ti Ora - Peach & Passionfruit Green Tea with Kawakawa (15x tea bags)





MacPac: Astro Hooded Down Jacket V4 Kids (Black, Children’s size 10)


MacPac: Astro Hooded Down Jacket V4 Kids (Black, Children’s size 12)

Macpac Pullover Cotton Hoody (Black, Mens Size Large)


Thank you MacPac for your incredibly generous donations.



4 x Pics Peanut butter - crunchy (1 kilo) left, free P&P in NZ. 

New Whittaker’s Destination selection (launched last week)

Nicaraguan Heirloom 76% Dark, 100 grams

Indian Cardamom and Apricots, 33% cocoa, 100 grams

Italian Piedmont Hazelnut, 33% cocoa, 100 grams

Pecans, Waffle and Canadian Maple, 33% cocoa, 100 grams



Whittaker’s Artisan Collection x3

Fijian Ginger and Kerikeri Mandarin, 62% cocoa, 100 grams

Hawke’s Bay Braeburn Apple with Vanilla, 28% cocoa, 100 grams

Hawke’s Bay Black Doris Plum and Roasted Almonds, 50% cocoa, 100 grams

Whittaker’s Artisan Collection x3

Nelson Pear and Manuka Honey, 33% cocoa, 100 grams

Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle, 33% cocoa, 100 grams

Westcoast Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate, 28% cocoa, 100 grams

Whittaker’s Artisan Collection x3

Hawke’s Bay Braeburn Apple with Vanilla, 28% cocoa, 100 grams

Fijian Ginger and Kerikeri Mandarin, 62% cocoa, 100 grams

Single Origin Samoan Cacao, 64% cocoa, 100 grams

$30 and a $20 Berrylands vouchers, Appleby Highway, Richmond, Nelson

Winter hours: Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's... . 9.30am to 5pm. 

Lots of fresh fruit and home grown and local veges and Nelson's sunshine hours still makes a real fruit icecream a treat.
Pop in and have a look at our gift shop and nursery.


2x Havana Coffee 5Star packs

1 x Havana Coffee Super Deluxe pack

Thanks Havana Coffee for your donations.


Tasti special tin with lots of goodies: 6x Super Grains muesli bars, 5x Made Simple wholefood bars (forest berries),  5x Made Simple wholefood bars (cocoa orange), 6x Raw snacking, snack bags (berry burst), 6x Smooshed wholefood balls (mocha macchiato), 6x Smooshed wholefood balls (mocha macchiato), 6x Smooshed wholefood balls (orange zinger), 6x Smooshed wholefood balls (orange zinger).

The tin comes in this unique bag.

Thank you Tasti for your donations.


 4 x Rabbit Island Coffee - 250 grams of coffee beans

Thank you Rabbit Island Coffee for your donations.


1 kilo of Honey - Floral Blend, Left Branch Honey. 

Raw honey. Made in the Riwaka Valley 


Spaceman Coffee 2x bags of Fair Trade Organic coffee beans (200 gram bags)


Thank you for your donation Spaceman Coffee.

Emailed Sleep Assessment and follow up support with Amy from Baby Sleep Consultant in Nelson. Valued at $99.


Call Me Kiwi, a photographic book by Renee Hollis

Celebrate African Children, a photographic book by Renee Hollis


To see photographs and sample pages from the Call me Kiwi and Celebrate African Children books, click on this link:!buy-books/clzx


RSA donations are used to support veterans as well as ex-servicemen and women, and their dependents, living in the community where the funds are raised.

Age Concern New Zealand is a charitable organisation dedicated solely to people over 65. We promote dignity, wellbeing, equity and respect and provide expert information and support services in response to older people's needs.


A few quotes from the centenarians: 

I am the oldest person in New Zealand” – Madeline Anderson, 110


We are old antiques” – John (101) and Maisie Bond (98).                                   


"I was good mates with Bruce McLaren" – Gordon Brown, 101.


I stopped duck shooting when I was 96. I remember getting 300 ducks in one day” – Roy King. 


I was a freedom fighter with Ghandi” – Jeram Ravji, 102.


"My relative witnessed the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi" – Joan Bridgeman, 100.


I was in Hip Operation - the oldest hip-hop group on the world” – Violet Hollis, 100.


I was a singer. I met Gracie Fields and got her autograph” - Evelyn Hutchins, 103.


Arthur’s Pass was named after my uncle” – Bunty O’Neill (nee Dobson), 101.


"My husband worked with Maggie Thatcher as a scientist during WWII" - Marjory Francis, 100.


"I played for the All Blacks in Cairo during WWII" – Ben Oaks, 102.


"I remember people celebrating the end of WWI" – Hilda Ord, 100.


"My husband was in The Great Escape" - Kath Anstey, 100.


I was a prisoner of war in France during WWII” – Sister Marie Fitzpatrick, 103.


I wore a bear skin jacket in Canada while I was training as a navigator in the Air Force, at the beginning of WWII” – Naylor Hillary, 102


I was in charge of the intelligence division in Fiji, during WWII” – Keith Stewart, 100.


The bomb shelter inside was as good as useless” – Mabel Connew, 104.


Nine of my brothers went to WWII and they all came back” – Violet Hollis, 100.


I was born amongst the potatoes and onions in Pukekohe” – Esme Ganley, 103.


"I have lived in Mirimar for 103 years" – Ernie Sellens, 103.


"I went to University of Victoria in the 1930s" – Joan Bridgeman, 100.


I am still playing outdoor bowls twice a week” – Tom Galway, 103.


I haven’t had an ordinary life” – Tui Mayo, 102.


I get a craving for lollies, chocolate or ice-cream. Anything fattening” – Elsie Fagg, 100


I’ve got a champagne taste on a beer budget” – Ruth Kirby, 100.


I met Jack at a local dance and we grew up together” – Gladys Hanson, 108.


The house I live in was bought by family in 1922. They traded half a dozen blankets, a few knives and a musket for these thirty acres” – Bill Tuckey, 105


My mum used to play the piano at the silent movies. I would sell the tickets at the door” - Lena Walker, 105.


 I have had more photos taken of me since I have turned one hundred than I have had my whole life” – Mary Beaumont, 106.


I have had the pleasure of interviewing the following people over the age of 100…

- Ben Oakes in Nelson

- Mary Powell (nee Hampton) in Nelson

- Ethel Phillips (nee Pearce) in Nelson

- Max Sladen in Nelson

- Leslie (Les) McElhinney in Nelson

- Allan Ricketts in Nelson

- Charlotte (Lottie) Williams (nee James) in Nelson

- Lorna Davies (nee Jarrett) in Nelson

- Jessie Allnutt (nee Olson) in Waimate

- John Steel in Fairlie

- Thomas (Tom) Galway in Dunedin

- Mary (Molly) Brown (nee McPhail) in Mosgeil

- Sister Marie Fitzpatrick in Dunedin

- Tui Mayo (nee Rutherford) in Dunedin

- Gladys Wright (nee Currie) in Dunedin

- Twins Cora Wright (nee Wells) and Elise Fagg (nee Wells) in Mosgeil

- Eva (Eve) Riley in Christchurch

- Ruth Kirby in Christchurch

- Norman Dickie in Rangiora

- Ann Henry (nee Hopley) in Christchurch

- Phyllis Howard (nee Moulin) in Christchurch

- Alma Beattie (nee McFadyen) in Christchurch

- Frances (Steve) Oxley (nee Stevens) in Christchurch

- Gladys Hanson in Christchurch

- Pauline Valentine (nee Johnston) in Christchurch

- Mary Beaumont (nee Hirst) in Christchurch

- Madeline Anderson (nee Orlowski) in Upper Hutt, Wellington

- Lalla Parsons (nee Kitchingman) in Wellington

- Neil Harton in Whangaparaoa, Hibiscus Coast

- Reece Rogers in Waiuku, Auckland

- Eva (Beryl) Baguley (nee Wilson) in Waiuku, Auckland

- Norman Leslie Fraser in Auckland

- Christine (Chris) Wollard in Auckland

- Stanley (Stan) Allport in Auckland

- Roy Cox in Auckland

- James (Jim) Greasley in Auckland

- Edward (Ted) Lenton in Auckland

- Jeram and Ganga Ravji in Auckland

- Hector Hopkins in Wellington

- Fiona Wyborn (nee Fraser) in Waikanae

- June Martin in Lower Hutt, Wellington                    

- Michael Nicholson in Wellington

- Ethel Robinson (nee Halliwell) in Wellington

- Liuetenant-Colonel Haddon Donald DSO, MC, ED in Masterton

- Gladys Stephens (nee Halliwell) in Martinborough

- Constance (Connie) Camfield (nee Burr) in Wellington

- Thomas (Tom) Pritchard in Palmerston North

- Thelma Evans in Palmerston North

- Anonymous in Palmerston North

- Ruth Hodgson in Feilding

- Amelia (May) Donald (nee Signal) in Marton, Rangitikei

- Elsie Astwood (nee McGregor) in New Plymouth

- Joan Bridgeman (nee Bacon) in New Plymouth

- Olive Nicolas (nee Phillips) in New Plymouth

- Constance (Con/Connie) Bevan (nee Brownlie) in Whanganui

- Ronald (Ron) Hermanns in Christchurch

- Naylor Hillary in Christchurch

- Morva Martin (nee Mason) in Christchurch

- Jessie Alabone (nee McDonald) in Christchurch

- William (Bill) Mitchell in Christchurch

- Mary (Dot) Judkins (nee Dwyer) in Christchurch

- Joy (Sunday) Miller (nee Stratford) in Auckland

- Marjory Francis (nee Allen) in Hastings

- Mavis (May) Catherall (nee McKown) in Napier

- Robert (Bob) Berry in Gisborne

- Dorothy (Bunty) O’Neill (nee Dobson) in Hastings

- Edna (Cherry) Robertson (nee Staniland) in Napier

- Florence (Flora) Jones (nee Orielly-Nugent) in Hastings

- John Turich in Auckland

- William (Roy) King in Whangarei

- Robert (Bob) Mulligan in Whangarei

- Ella Bayes (nee Powell) in Whangarei

- Shelagh Mason (nee Fitness) in Whangarei

- Trevor (Bill) Tuckey in Rawene, Northland

- Eveline (Lena) Walker (nee Wilkinson) in Haruru Falls, Northland

- Ellen (Nell) Graveson in Kerikeri

- Keith Stewart in Auckland

- Marjorie Tovey (nee Fountain) in Auckland

- Helen (Peggy) Wylie (nee Hogg) in Auckland

- Esma Bennett (nee Fort) in Karaka, Auckland

- Walter (Gordon) Brown in Auckland

- Fredrick (Fred) Thomson in Auckland

- Kathleen (Kath) Anstey (nee Organ) in Paraparaumu

- Evelyn Hutchins (nee Bovett) in Waikanae

- Hilda Ord (nee Cutler) in Waikanae

- Ernest (Ernie) Sellens in Mirimar, Wellington

- Mabel Connew (nee Playle) in Waikanae

- Joan Brennan (nee Lewis) in Auckland

- Violet Hollis (nee Etheridge) in Auckland

- Charles (Len) Darr in Auckland

- Hazel Coward (nee Campton) in Auckland

- Mary Farmer (nee Kearns) in Auckland

- Rimu (Esme) Ganley (nee Miller) in Cambridge

- Mary (Pat) Tervit in Te Awamutu

- Moira Dempsey (nee Black) in Te Awamutu

- Catherine Coutts (nee Brown) in Hamilton

- Peter Densem in Tauranga

- Christina Barrie (nee Mackie) in Tauranga

- John Bond in Rotorua

- Eleanor (Ella) Wilson (nee Harrison) in Rotorua

- Mabel (Willa) Crews (nee Beale) in Tauranga

- Alice (Joy) Marbeck (nee Cutler) in Tauranga

- Mary Begbie (nee Coston) in Tauranga

- Dorothy (Joyce) McLaughlin (nee Taylor) in Tauranga

- Margaret Tankard (nee Holmes) in Mount Maunganui

- Patrick (Pat) Green in Hamilton

- Lorna Moffit in Nelson


*I cannot promise that every person’s story that I have interviewed will be published in the book or books about people living in New Zealand that are over 100 years old. These decisions will be made by the publishing company, however every person’s interview will be typed up and given to the centenarian. The individual and families will be informed throughout the process.

Thank you SO much for your support.





The People Behind Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

Picture?type=square&width=50&height=50 Renee Hollis Project admin

Renee Hollis

Diploma of Writing for Creative Industries (2016) 

Primary School teacher (2002-2015)


Self Published 8 photographic books (2006 - 2013)

- Manihiki Island Our Paradise, By Renee Hollis (2006)

- Kia Maumahara ki nga Whakatauki, Remember Maori Proverbs, By Renee Hollis (2007)

- People of Golden Bay, By Renee Hollis (2008)

- Artists of Golden Bay, By Renee Hollis (2008)

- Aitutaki heaven on earth, Renee Hollis (2009)

- AROHA (LOVE), Renee Hollis (2009)

- Call me Kiwi (2013)

- Celebrate African Children (2013)


    You can follow the progress of my book

    07:39PM Sat 12/08/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Hi everyone, 

    If you want to follow the progress of my book/s, this is the link: 

    Feel free to spread the word.

    Cheers, love your support

    Renee :)

    Comment on this update:


    02:09PM Fri 11/08/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Hi everyone,

    I have just got the list from PledgeMe with all the details of who has rewards and where to send them.

    I will post them out to you as soon as humanly possible. 

    Thanks again for your support, I really really appreciate it.



    Comment on this update:

    We have done it !!!!!!!!!!

    03:41PM Sat 05/08/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).


    This afternoon I hit my target!!!!!!!!!!

    This is thanks to all of your generous support and a last minute donation from Met Life Care!  

    I am feeling very excited and relieved. 

    Thanks again for all of your support, I really really appreciate it.


    Now I can focus on putting this amazing book together!





    Comment on this update:

    Thank you SO much for your support

    09:49PM Thu 03/08/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Comment on this update:

    Just cracked $4000!

    09:28PM Thu 03/08/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    I am getting there!

    3 days to go...

    Comment on this update:

    I am going to be on the telly again!

    03:23PM Mon 31/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).


    Hi everyone,

    Thank you ALL so much for your support of this amazing project. I am going to be interviewed with one of my 101 year old buddied tomorrow morning on tv!

    I will be on the AM Show on channel 3 at 7:40am. 

    I am flying up to Auckland tonight.


    This is perfect timing as I only have 6 days left on my PledgeMe Campaign

    Enjoy and please keep spreading the word!


    Cheers, Renee


    Comment on this update:

    Oops! I had a brain fart...

    02:43PM Fri 21/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    I am sorry everyone I had a brain fart.

    The new target for stage 1 is $7,777 not $17,777 (the previous amount).

    However people can continue to pledge over this amount of $7,777.

    16 days to go! 



    Comment on this update:

    Help me finish my book about 100 year olds - update!

    08:52PM Thu 20/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you SO much for your pledges! It is fantastic to feel supported with this project/book.

    It has been a massive week with the buzz of the story about the two brothers reuniting on The Project. Since this story aired the video has been viewed 6,715 times!

    However the interest in this amazing book has not converted into an abundance of pledges. Sadly I have heard of six centenarians who have died since I have interviewed. There is a real sense of urgency to complete this book ASAP.

    PledgeMe is a fantastic concept BUT if I don’t reach the target in 17 days I don’t get a cent! I have revaluated the target goal of $17,777.

    I have decided to break this massive project into two stages. By separating the project into two stages I will be more likely to reach the target of stage 1 and complete the biggest task of dictating the 110 interviews.


    Stage 1 = Dictate all of the interviews (110 interviews of 1-4 hours long)

    August to November 2017


    Stage 2 = Research, edit photographs, design and layout of the book*.

    December 2017 to February 2018

    *I need to read through military records, memoirs, diaries and previous newspaper articles written about the centenarians. Photographs need to be edited including the photographs from the centenarians.


    Thanks again for your support and encouragement, I really appreciate it.




    Comment on this update:


    06:27PM Sat 15/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Wahooooo! Over $1000 has been pledged on my PledgeMe page! Thank you everyone for your support! Please keep spreading the word as I still have a long way to go.

    Comment on this update:

    New Zealand Herald article: Brothers, 101 and 83, reunite after 35 years

    05:17PM Fri 14/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    Click the link below to read the New Zealand Herald article - about one of the men I interviewed....


    Comment on this update:

    I received this message today from Winston Peters

    05:59PM Wed 12/07/17 on Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

    “ I am is very impressed with the initiative you have shown in commencing such an endeavour and appreciates there must be a large amount of work required in collating all that you have obtained so far ”. - Rt Hon Winston Peters, MP for Northland

    Comment on this update:


      Monique Baigent
      2017-07-13 22:09:45 +1200

      Monique Baigent has pledged on 1 campaign

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      2017-07-13 19:38:04 +1200

      Paula has pledged on 1 campaign

      “This is such a great project Ren, I can't wait to add your new book to our bookshelf!”

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      Anonymous pledger
      2017-07-13 07:53:56 +1200

      This pledger has chosen to pledge anonymously

      Saleema Reeves
      2017-07-12 20:34:54 +1200

      Saleema Reeves has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Go girl you will do it ....Love Saleema”

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      Kate Ammundsen
      2017-07-12 16:13:26 +1200

      Kate Ammundsen has pledged on 1 campaign

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      sharon middlebrook
      2017-07-12 13:32:28 +1200

      sharon middlebrook has pledged on 4 campaigns

      “Celebrating our Elderly's stories will be an awesome topic and I am sure you will do it justice Renee”

      Flick Davies
      2017-07-11 08:58:19 +1200

      Flick Davies has pledged on 1 campaign

      “Good luck Renee. Awesome project!”

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      Caroline Foster
      2017-07-10 22:25:31 +1200

      Caroline Foster has pledged on 2 campaigns

      “Soooooo looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition. 😊 Such a fabulous concept. ”

      Adrian Laing
      2017-07-10 20:35:54 +1200

      Adrian Laing has pledged on 1 campaign

      Brooke Crawford
      2017-07-10 20:03:11 +1200

      Brooke Crawford has pledged on 1 campaign

      “I would love to see this book published and read it. Love your work so far Ren xx Brookie”

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      stephen berg
      2017-07-09 16:38:17 +1200

      stephen berg has pledged on 1 campaign

      “love this idea. NZs finest. you have some fine veterans there on your list, look forward to seeing the book cheers Simon”

      Followers of Help me finish my book about 100 year olds (stage 1).

      This project was successful and got its funding on 06/08/2017 at 9:00 PM.