Centenarian kicks off celebrations with a smile
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.