Rotary, Meals on Wheels, Probus, the Caboolture RSL – these are just some of the organisations Caboolture centenarian and Bolton Clarke Fernhill resident Arthur (Artie) McClure has contributed to over a century of service.
He’s made a lasting mark in the community to which he’s dedicated his life, but when hundreds gathered in celebration of his 100th birthday on Friday 23 March, Artie still couldn’t believe all the fuss.
Growing up in Caboolture, he remembers riding in his horse to school in the days when the township didn’t even have its own hospital.
And despite the call of war taking him away for a short while, it was the only place he ever wanted to call home.
“Caboolture has always been home to me,” Artie says.
It was there where he met and married his late wife Eileen, built their first home and enjoyed life as a family with their only daughter Penny.
In retirement, he didn’t go far, moving into an independent living unit in Fernhill’s retirement community where he has stayed for nearly two decades now.
The centenarian attributes his long life to staying active and engaging in everything he possibly could.
“I’ve always kept myself busy and involved in the RSL,” he said.
“You’ve got to keep yourself active. I’ve done a lot of volunteering in my life.”
One organisation that remains particularly close to his heart is Meals on Wheels, whose representatives joined in on the birthday celebration to honour the man who was their president for eight years and baked a cake for the occasion.
As well as his time with Meals on Wheels, Artie is also a life member of Rotary where his contribution earned him recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow.
A foundation member of the Caboolture Probus Club and a Fruit Steward at both the Caboolture Show Society and the Royal National Show, he certainly has never sat still for long.
Artie enlisted in the Army at 21 and served as a topographical surveyor from 1940 to 1945, in Darwin, Borneo and Papua New Guinea.
In his war journals, he writes that some weeks he was “going like a scalded cat”.
“I lost quite a few mates. One chappie in particular got killed on his 21st birthday, and on the station where I was working before the war, two of the sons joined up to the Air Force and never came back,” he said.
On his return home, he settled down as a banana grower on his farm on the Maleny Range.
Taking after his mother, who spent much of her time growing a prized rose garden, Artie loved agriculture and won multiple awards in his time on the land.
It’s been a busy 100 years but Artie says he’s wholeheartedly enjoyed every minute – and he still has more to give.
Artie is one of the newest members of Bolton Clarke’s Centenarian Club, which launched in 2017.