Broth­ers cel­e­brate long, healthy life

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE -

Some may say it’s good genes, but Fin­ley Dawe puts the long lives of he and his brother Ian down to ‘‘good, plain liv­ing’’.

Ian, a res­i­dent at Fin­ley Re­gional Care, cel­e­brated his 102nd birth­day at the fa­cil­ity on Fri­day.

Fin­ley, who turned 99 on May 3, was right be­side his older brother for the party.

Fin­ley said most of the Dawe men have ex­pe­ri­enced long and event­ful lives, with their fa­ther Ge­orge liv­ing to be 94. This was de­spite an early di­ag­noses of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis when he was 18, which doc­tors claimed would take his life by the age of 24 if he didn’t make some life­style changes.

It led to Ge­orge’s re­lo­ca­tion to the South­ern Rive­rina, where the fam­ily are pi­o­neers.

Ian and Fin­ley’s older broth­ers An­drew and Al­lan lived to be 95 and 86 re­spect- ively. The third el­dest, Keith, died from sud­den heart com­pli­ca­tions at the age of 69.

‘‘Per­son­ally, I put it (liv­ing to my age) down to good, plain liv­ing,’’ Fin­ley said.

‘‘Things were tough rais­ing three chil­dren in my time, so all the food was pre­pared at home.

‘‘Take­away is ru­in­ing lives — but it’s okay on oc­ca­sion.’’

Fin­ley said it was not only their ages that set he and his brother apart in Aus­tralia.

He said it was rare to find sur­viv­ing World War II vet­er­ans who are broth­ers.

‘‘We cre­ated a bit of his­tory at an An­zac Day event a few years back — when Ian cel­e­brated his cen­te­nary,’’ Fin­ley said.

‘‘It’s not of­ten you hear of two broth­ers sur­viv­ing the war reach­ing our ages.’’

Ian only made the move to Fin­ley Re­gional Care re­cently, adding he’s be­ing ‘‘looked af­ter well’’.

He said while he spends most of his time rest­ing be­cause he ‘‘can’t do much now’’, he re­flects fondly on his life grow­ing up in the South­ern Rive­rina.

‘‘I guess I stayed here be­cause my par­ents (in­clud­ing mother Mar­garet) were here, and all my fam­ily re­ally,’’ Ian said.

‘‘We all got on well, and I did a bit of farm work and shear­ing around the place.’’

Ian spent most of his life work­ing on farms and as a con­tract shearer.

He served in the Australian Light Horse dur­ing World War II, be­fore mar­ry­ing Anne Fuller and bring­ing up two sons — Barry and Lind­say.

While Fin­ley de­scribed his brother’s new home as a ‘‘ter­rific place’’, he still en­joys liv­ing in­de­pen­dently at home.

‘‘I’m not sick, and I’m not house­bound,’’ Fin­ley said.

‘‘I go out a fair bit, in­clud­ing to Probus and to the Men­shed, and any­where else I need to go.’’

Broth­ers Ian (sit­ting) and Fin­ley Dawe cel­e­brated their 102nd and 99th birthdays re­spec­tively at Fin­ley Re­gional Care on Fri­day.

Ian Dawe cuts his cake with help from his grand­daugh­ter Chris­tine Dennis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.