ASB Good as Gold is an ASB initiative recognising, rewarding and helping wonderful people in our community. We ask the public to nominate people who are making a real difference in their community, have grabbed hold of life against the odds or who really deserve help in a time of hardship. The recipients are featured on TV One’s Seven Sharp programme.
Age is just a number for Greta Anema, an 85 year old with a huge heart. Greta emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands in 1957 and settled in Rotorua, where she’s lived and raised her family ever since. She’s described as a little firecracker, and is always chatting with everyone and bouncing around with mountains of energy. Her doctor has mentioned she’s got the blood pressure of a 25 year old, and it’s no wonder why…
Greta is very well known to her community and especially to her local squash and tennis club where she’s still a fiercely competitive member. A crafty player, she’s known to demolish unwary men and women many years younger than herself, much to the delight of the local club members. She’s a huge part of the club, and helps out by making tea, cleaning the clubrooms and of course, baking snacks and food – especially her famous apple tart. She keeps up an almost daily aerobics regime, delivers pamphlets on her bike as well as lifting weights to keep her in shape. She doesn’t see herself as being old, which is maybe the key to her amazing vitality.
Growing up as an orphan in the Netherlands, she knows what it’s like to be lonely and truly hates to see others in this situation. She volunteers her time at the Rotorua Hospital, making coffees and keeping people company. While she’s only meant to do one day a week, the hospital knows they can call Greta at the drop of a hat and she does much more. She also spends a lot of her time helping old people in the community by taking them to do their shopping, helping clean their houses, doing their gardening and just being there for support. She’s a busy lady, and always looks out for everyone around her.
Greta has never asked for anything for herself and has lived a very simple life. She’s known as the “old lady who helps the old people”, and as she brings so much happiness to the lives of others, we thought we should bring some happiness to hers. We’ve given $8000 to cover the cost of an once-in-a-lifetime holiday, as well as $2000 spending money. We know she’s bound to make many more friends on her travels and continue to enrich the lives of those in her community on her return.