For Bolton Clarke At Home Support client Herbert, Bundaberg has been home for 100 years.
For the last 60 of those he has lived in the home he built himself, where he receives regular visits from Bolton Clarke’s At Home Support team.
Growing up on a cane farm outside Gin Gin, Herbert was the third of four children.
He remembers the long walk to Cumonju State School at age 4 before he was allowed to ride his horse a few years later.
The school, which closed in 1967, had 30 students and plenty of spirit – he can still sing the school song:
Cheer boys cheer, we are Cumonju,
Now we’re coming into fame,
We’ll play you all around, at home or any ground,
If you only play a fair and honest game.
Herbert spent his childhood riding and breaking horses – his father, a local builder, also taught him to shoe his own horse.
“He was an unassuming bloke who taught me lots,” he recalls.
When World War Two came along, he joined up and at 22 was sent to Papua New Guinea, where he spent 1,597 days. He was in Wewak when the war ended.
Back home in Bundaberg, he worked with his father and learned the trade before becoming a carpenter himself.
Widowed shortly after his return home, he remarried with Alma and raised daughters Annette and Patricia. The family expanded to include five grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and four great great-grandchildren.
Meeting with other Veterans for coffee helped him through the hard times.
Herbert retired at 60, and he and Alma enjoyed travelling Australia and playing golf until her death earlier this year.
A man who loves to learn, he built himself a men’s shed many years ago and taught himself woodturning.
He continues to keep active and likes to use the crosswords and send emails and photos on his computer.
His great-grandson lives next door and they enjoy going to the local coffee shop every Saturday, and he still enjoys catching up with friends and attending meetings at the Masonic Lodge twice a month.
At home he receives daily visits from Bolton Clarke’s At Home Support team during the week and enjoys having a joke with team members.
Herbert celebrated his birthday with about 80 family and friends including his great great-grandson, who turned five on the same day.
He is among the newest members of Bolton Clarke’s Centenarian Club, celebrating the lives and experiences of centenarian clients and residents across the organization.