Guess who’s turn­ing 100 next week?

Isis Town and Country - - FRONT PAGE - By MELINDA BRAD­FORD

IF THERE’S one piece of ad­vice you might want to take from Noel Sch­midt, it’s that a bit of whisky each night won’t hurt you. In fact, he swears by it. And per­haps he’s onto some­thing be­cause to look at Noel, it’s hard to be­lieve that he’s about to turn 100.

De­spite some com­mon age­ing ail­ments, Noel ap­peared to be in good health and said he was “feel­ing all right”.

The Childers man will cel­e­brate his 100th birth­day next Thurs­day, July 24.

As his cen­te­nary ap­proached, Noel took time out with the Town & Coun­try to re­flect on what he said had been “a good life”.

Noel, the youngest of four sib­lings, spent the first three years of his life at

Noel Sch­midt Cen­tu­rion If you seen some­thing com­ing down (a tree) you had to beat them out of the seat!

Ap­ple Tree Creek be­fore his fam­ily moved to a farm in Childers, and he had re­mained in the district since.

At the age of 13, Noel left school to work on his fam­ily’s farm, which he said was no great loss be­cause he wasn’t a fan of school any­way.

He be­gan driv­ing trucks when he was just 16 years old, and be­fore long he took a lik­ing to “muck­ing around” with trac­tors and cars and be­came a self-taught me­chanic.

“You sort of had to go to work, be­cause no­body was about to fix it, so you had to fix them,” he said.

Not only was Noel a handy home me­chanic, truckie and farmer, he also dab­bled in earth­mov­ing and was re­spon­si­ble for clear­ing much of the sol­dier’s set­tle­ment in the district.

Earth­mov­ing had not al­ways been kind to him though, and he said he was lucky to be alive.

“I’ve been knocked about a fair bit with doz­ers. I’ve been smashed up ... be­cause they never had canopies them days like they got now,” he said.

“If you seen some­thing com­ing down (a tree) you had to beat them out of the seat!”

Work has re­mained a big part of Noel’s life.

Re­mark­ably, the con­fessed worka­holic had been on his fam­ily farm up un­til five years ago.

And he would still be hard at work if weren’t for his fail­ing eye­sight.

Rather than en­joy­ing re­tire­ment, he had found the past five years dif­fi­cult.

“It hurts a bit now that I can’t. I can’t see and I’ve got to feel ev­ery­thing (when work­ing on ma­chin­ery),” he said.

But his eye­sight hadn’t com­pletely stopped Noel, who oc­ca­sion­ally jumped on a ride-on mower to keep his property in good shape, of­ten mow­ing about two hectares at a time.

“I don’t think they like me mow­ing much, they think I might get hurt,” he said.

Work had played a big part in Noel’s life, but it was his late wife Enid who shaped who he was to­day.

It was at a lo­cal dance in Dalby where Noel, who was 19, met Enid Hume.

The teenagers shared a love of dancing and their love blos­somed over a three-year courtship.

Soon af­ter, the cou­ple were mar­ried and went on to have three chil­dren: Nola, Faye and Don.

The pair en­joyed 73 years of mar­riage un­til four years ago when Enid passed away.

When Noel re­flected on his life, he said it was a good one be­cause of his fam­ily.

“I’ve got a good fam­ily. I had a good wife. That was the main thing,” he said.

Noel said his other love of his life was cars.

Big, Amer­i­can cars were his pride and joy. That, and Fords.

Noel was proud to have owned more than 20 cars in his life­time, mostly of Fair­lanes, and Amer­i­can cars when he could get hold of them.

“I like big cars. I reckon they’re more com­fort­able, you’ve got more con­trol over them,” he said.

He es­ti­mated he had owned no fewer than 65 ve­hi­cles through­out his life­time, in­clud­ing util­i­ties, trucks and low load­ers.

Nowa­days Noel spent time lis­ten­ing to au­dio books and play­ing his favourite card game, crib, with his fam­ily.

The spir­ited se­nior was happy to share one piece of ad­vice for a long life – keep your mind ac­tive.

“They reckon if you can re­mem­ber four phone num­bers, your brain is all right.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GOOD OLD DAYS: Childers man Noel Sch­midt, who will turn 100 next week, in his younger days.

Noel Sch­midt will cel­e­brate his 100th birth­day next week.

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