Mt Albert man, 95, plans jump of his life from an aeroplane
George Keruse has spent much of his retirement at his beloved Balmoral Bowling Club, out on the green or playing cards.
On Sunday the jovial 95-year-old gentleman will head to Helensville, climb aboard a small plane at Parakai airfield and at around 12,000 feet, jump out – with a parachute.
‘‘You can’t be living in quietness all the time, frightened to do this or frightened to do that,’’ he says.
Mr Keruse has been part of Balmoral Bowling Club for 35 years. When winter weather forces players inside, he enjoys running card competitions for members. They particularly like playing 500.
The Mt Albert resident says the idea of a tandem skydive came about on a bit of a whim.
‘‘I’ve heard others talking about enjoying it and how it was a thrill and I thought ‘I’d like to do that’. It’s not a bucket list or anything, I just wanted to do it. I think it’ll be exciting.’’
He’s not scared, ‘‘not even a little bit’’.
‘‘It’s only a jump,’’ he says. ‘‘ The only thing is if it [the parachute] doesn’t open.’’
The secretary of the bowling club, John Thompson, will be there just in case Mr Keruse is too shaky to drive himself home.
Skydive Auckland sales and mar- keting manager Sam Allen says Mr Keruse will be the company’s oldest tandem skydiver. Ruby Leach, 90, completed her dive in March.
Like all customers, Mr Keruse’s medical history, including medications and health conditions, will be taken into consideration, she says.
‘‘If he’s fit and healthy there’s absolutely no reason that he can’t tandem skydive. There’s a lot of older people that want to do some of these adventure sports.’’
Mr Keruse says the parachute jump will be the most adventurous thing he’s ever done apart from the helicopter flight over Auckland his grandkids shouted him for his 95th birthday in September.
Skydiving senior: 95-year-old George Keruse is not the least bit afraid of his upcoming tandem skydive.