Local resident Jack Savage has celebrated his 100th birthday, crediting the secret to a long life to working hard, and apple cider vinegar and honey each morning.
Jack was a cane farmer at Tirroan, near Gin Gin all of his life, and took over the family farm from his father Harold Savage with his wife Win and five children.
While they mainly farmed sugar cane, they also kept around 20 head of cattle for milk, living on the farm until he and Win moved into aged care in September 2019.
As an active member of the Gin Gin community during his many years in the area, Jack’s son Frank recalls how both his parents played a role within the Kolan Shire National Fitness club and the Gin Gin Catholic Church.
“Mum and Dad were the backbone of the Kolan Shire National Fitness club, fundraising, maintaining the hall and surrounds, and assisting and training the new members,” Frank said.
“They had a similar presence at the Gin Gin Catholic Church, Dad always had the lawns and gardens pristine and Mum always had the Church spic and span and sandwiches at the ready for after Mass every Sunday.
“They were on most committees including P&Cs, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels when they were well into their 80s.
“They were always there to support those in need and, in a smaller community like Tirroan and Gin Gin, nearly everyone was friends so it was much easier to identify those in need of help.”
As Jack got older and stopped working, Frank said his garden became his main priority, with not a weed to be seen.
“As he got older, he spent more off his time gardening, growing fruit and vegetables and delivering them in boxes to family and friends,” he said.
“He kept around six acres after the farm was sold so there was always something to mow, one of his favourite pastimes was mowing or slashing the yard and paddock.”
Jack and Win celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary in December 2020, before Win passed away in early 2021.
To this day Jack and his family cherish the memories they have made together.
Frank said he recalled the many holidays they had as a family to Hervey Bay every year after Christmas, with the location a favourite of Jack's ever since he and Win honeymooned there.
“He often reminisces about how us five kids and all the luggage all fit in the car, as well as how much he loved coming over the hill into Hervey Bay and laughing about us arguing over who saw the sea first,” Frank said.
“When sugar prices were down, Dad would do part time work like bean picking in Bundaberg to make sure that the family holiday went ahead.
“Mum and Dad made lifelong friends during their holiday visits to the Bay and always spoke fondly of their yearly holidays.”
Jack still enjoys his favourite food and drink, Cadbury Chocolate and Bundaberg Ginger Beer, with a cupboard full of both in his room.
Jack celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by close family as he loves his family and friends and always thanks everyone for dropping by to see him for a visit.
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