Cen­te­nar­ian kicks off cel­e­bra­tions with a smile

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSE CAWLEY

Cen­te­nar­ian Robert (Bob) Lind­say’s only wish on his 100th birth­day was for the Auck­land Blues to win.

Alas, his beloved team didn’t beat the Sharks at Eden Park on Fri­day, but the World War II vet­eran en­joyed his themed cake and signed Blues jersey nonethe­less.

Bob was born into a fam­ily of six chil­dren in Ngaru­awahia in 1914, just a few months be­fore World War I when Eden Park was still a rel­a­tively new sports field. He’s watched the game he loves evolve over the years and re­mem­bers the days be­fore tele­vi­sion, when keep­ing track of your favourite team wasn’t so easy.

He’s proud to have reached 100 and cel­e­brated the day with friends at the Ran­furly Home & Hospi­tal.

‘‘I did it... but there is no se­cret to it, noth­ing I can hand on, it just hap­pened,’’ he says.

Lind­say was 14 when he left school to work for a baker and was later a rail­way porter.

War broke out again when he was 25 years old.

‘‘I was with the Army as a sig­nal­man. I went to the Mid­dle East – Egypt and then Italy, that is where I ended up with the Maori Bat­tal­ion.’’

Bob was cap­tured by the Ger­mans in the desert and be­came a pris­oner of war. But time was on his side. Just five hours later he was res­cued by a South African unit.

He was a lines­man for Tele­com af­ter the war and con­tin­ued in the job for most of his work­ing life.

The for­mer Pa­p­a­toe­toe res­i­dent mar­ried his wife Gwen in 1948 and they were to­gether for 44 years.

Birth­day mile­stone,

Spe­cial de­liv­ery:

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