Never too old to Cruise! and start a new life!

A 102-year-old retired dentist looks set to become New Zealand’s oldest immigrant when he quits Britain tomorrow to start a new life in Nelson.

Eric King-Turner has packed up all his belongings to sail to the other side of the world with his 87-year-old, New Zealand-born wife Doris, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

He departs tomorrow, on the Saga Rose cruise ship which will dock in Auckland on February 16.

Mr King-Turner, who lives in the village of Titchfield, near Southampton, said he was looking forward to a British way of life in a country which is not as crowded.

Mrs King-Turner – who still has a house near Nelson – has been living in England since marrying her husband 12 years ago.

Mr King-Turner, who was Surgeon Commander on the aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable during World War 2, said: “I think Doris has been a little bit homesick but has never complained.

“I like New Zealand. The way of life is very much the same as it is here but it is not so crowded and the weather is certainly better.

“I’m an Englishman through and through and there will be things I miss such as my friends but New Zealanders are very easy to get on with.”

He said he will also be able to engage in his passion for fly fishing: “New Zealand is the most wonderful place in the world for fishing.

“It’s a wonderful new adventure and I would say to anyone that if you want to do something you should do it straight away while you can.

“I may well be Britain’s oldest emigrant but being in the Guinness Book of Records is not important to me.

“What’s important is that when I’m 105 I don’t want to be thinking `I wish I had moved to the other side of the world when I was 102′.”

The couple, who were both widowed, married in New Zealand in 1995 before returning to Mr King-Turner’s home in the south of England.

Mrs King-Turner, who has five children and nine grandchildren, said: “I am looking forward to getting back to my garden which is about three-quarters of an acre.”

Mrs King-Turner sponsored her husband’s application to emigrate to New Zealand.

He said: “The paperwork has taken about five months.

“We not only had to produce a marriage certificate but we had to produce evidence that we were in a long and stable relationship!

“I’m also pleased to say I’m in good health – they would not let me in otherwise.

“Now I am looking forward to refurbishing my wife’s home out there because that kind of thing is always fun.”

Mr King-Turner said he was not quizzed about his age but had to show he had the financial means to live when he got to New Zealand and that people would look after him if he ran out of money.

The couple will not be putting their feet up when they land in New Zealand. They are already planning to extend the bungalow.

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