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Christchurch man's 100th birthday to be honoured with concert

Newshub logoNewshub 5 days ago Annabelle Tukia
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While most people pushing 100 years of age might be seeking a slower pace of life, that's not the case for one Christchurch man who's well and truly keeping up with the band. 

Mel Smith doesn't miss a beat - or even a note. Every Wednesday morning you'll find him at band practice in the Woolston Brass Band Hall.

"Once I'm up it's alright, getting up on these cold mornings," he laughs.

There in the back row of the '50s Up Brass Band' is Smith - reading music, flicking through song sheets and keeping time on the cornet.

It's a remarkable feat given next week Smith will turn 100 years old.

"If I didn't come here what would I be doing?" he asks. "I'd just be at home."

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Mel Smith's band mates have plans for the special occasion. © Newshub Mel Smith's band mates have plans for the special occasion.

Smith began playing the cornet when he was just eight years old.

He worked as a carpenter - but his first love is music. He's played in lots of bands and orchestras and was a founding member of Christchurch's 50s Up Brass Band.

Smith still lives in the home he built in Beckenham 75 years ago, and until recently he drove himself to band practice.

"Mel's here every time, he's always prepared, it's great to work with him because he's always ready," says band conductor Pablo Ruiz Henao. "He gets things done - he's great."

Next week Smith's band mates will honour his 100th birthday with a special concert.

Smith says it's been a great band - a band that he's determined to keep playing with well-past his milestone birthday next week.

Pictures: Famous people aged 100+

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