Ken’s 99 rea­sons to smile

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - By JON BAS­SETT

MOS­MAN Park res­i­dent Ken Walker (99) has seen Aus­tralia Day change in his 10 decades.

“It wasn’t as it is to­day, as mainly the schools used to cel­e­brate it and not the adults,” Mr Walker said.

He cel­e­brated his 99th birth­day on Jan­uary 24, two days be­fore the an­nual hol­i­day re­mem­ber­ing the 1788 ar­rival of First Fleet into Syd­ney Har­bour, and said he had no­ticed how the im­por­tance of Aus­tralia Day had risen “like An­zac Day”.

Mr Walker, who was born in Su­bi­aco 22 months be­fore the 1918 end of World War I, suf­fered dis­eases that stopped his school­ing, worked on WA rail­ways and served in the RAAF as a sergeant me­chanic in Aus­tralia and PNG dur­ing World War II.

Af­ter­wards, he was a bus driver and in­spec­tor be­fore a decade of farm­ing and was a me­chanic be­fore re­tir­ing in 1977 to care for his first wife.

In 1980, he moved to Mos­man Park with his se­cond wife Dorothy.

“Lots has changed, be­cause when I was young, if you wanted to even phone some­one, you had to find a phone, which could have been four miles way, and your en­ter­tain­ment was re­stricted by trans­port and to walk­ing there,” Mr Walker said.

But he is tack­ling the com­puter tech­nol­ogy of the se­cond cen­tury in which he has lived.

As a found­ing mem­ber of the Mos­man Park Men’s Shed, he thas taken his mo­bil­ity scooter to get to sev­eral tu­to­ri­als at the shed about us­ing a lap­top com­puter given to him by his son-in-law re­cently.

“But I would say that do­ing with­out mo­bile phones would be bet­ter be­cause those phones are a bit of dis­ease, and with some peo­ple walk­ing along with them stuck in their ears, I’ve waited on this scooter un­til they’ve walked into me,” Mr Walker said.

He cel­e­brated his birth­day with fam­ily, in­clud­ing five great grand­chil­dren, be­fore a Mos­man Park RSL-or­gan­ised cel­e­bra­tion the fol­low­ing day and then Aus­tralia Day.

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