Hard work doesn’t hurt
Celebrating a century: Alby’s long life down to hard yakka
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.
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.