Hard work doesn’t hurt

Cel­e­brat­ing a cen­tury: Alby’s long life down to hard yakka

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Erica Mur­ree

A BRO­KEN hip six weeks ago didn’t stop Alby Cross cel­e­brat­ing his 100th birth­day on Tues­day, June 21, with fam­ily and friends.

Alby puts his longevity down to lots of hard work.

“That’s all I’ve ever known,” he said.

“I’ve lived a full life and now live a com­fort­able life af­ter bat­tling lots of floods and drought.”

Horses and the tim­ber in­dus­try have been a part of the make-up of Alby for his en­tire life.

Alby, or to his fam­ily “Pop”, was born Al­bert Fletcher Cross at Kin­garoy on June 21, 1916.

His ear­li­est me­mories are of the Elsmere State School burn­ing down.

“It took a while to re­build so I missed out on a lot of school­ing,” he said.

His as­so­ci­a­tion with horses be­gan when he picked the kids up on the way to school in the horse and sulky.

As a young­ster he used to go into Kumbia in the horse and cart and col­lect the meat in a sug­arbag from the butcher for the fam­ily and neigh­bours.

“I’ve even been to fu­ner­als and there weren’t any cars, only horses,” he said.

Alby worked home on the farm be­fore start­ing work in tim­ber in 1932 at Bunya Moun­tains.

Through the years his tim­ber work has taken him to the Biggenden area in­clud­ing Coon­garra Rock, Kilki­van, Tuan, Gal­len­gowan and Fraser Is­land.

He re­mem­bers the over­head rail­way bridge be­ing built by ErnieWest.

He also saw the pic­ture the­atre built in 1938 and the wa­ter tower.

I’ve lived a full life and now live a com­fort­able life af­ter bat­tling lots of floods and drought.

Alby and wife Jean moved toWoowoonga and took up dairy­ing from the 1950s un­til the late 60s.

Alby also re­mem­bers the 1954 flood when the cow yards were washed away and there were big logs ev­ery­where.

The best mo­ment in his life was the in­tro­duc­tion of elec­tric­ity.

“Made life so much eas­ier,” he said.

“As a kid it was my job to light the wood stove and cop­per as well as the fire to cook the pig’s tucker.

“I really got sick and tired of light­ing fires as a kid.”

Alby and Jean had moved into their new home in Tar­dent St to have a fam­ily Christ­mas in 1992. Sadly Jean passed away in Jan­uary 1994.

A mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Draugh­thorse As­so­ci­a­tion, Alby rode his horse well into his 90s.

“I had no wor­ries get­ting on the horse as it used to stop at a block and let me on,” he said.

Up un­til his last birth­day Alby had a driver’s li­cence but didn’t re­new it due to his health.

On Sun­day he was sur­prised to re­ceive a visit from his 85-year-old cousin, Bill Beetham, whom he hadn’t seen for many years.

Alby had a fam­ily party on Satur­day where all his chil­dren, Joyce, Peter, Val, Ron­nie, Keith and Carmel, and his grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren at­tended.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

ACROSS THE GEN­ER­A­TIONS: Alby Cross with his youngest great-grand­child, Felic­ity Evans.

Alby had two cakes, a horse col­lar and a sad­dle, to cel­e­brate his 100th birth­day.

Alby with his chil­dren Peter Cross, Val Jo­han­nesen, Keith Cross, Ron Cross and (front) Carmel Weier and Joyce Haupt.

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