Brothers celebrate long, healthy life
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.