'Bring on year 108'
IF YOU lived for over a century, what would be your most memorable experience?
For Roma's oldest person, Dexter Kruger, the invention of the washing machine stood out.
Mr Kruger celebrated his 107th birthday at Pinaroo on Friday alongside fellow resident, Olive Reade, who celebrated her 107th birthday just four days after Mr Kruger.
While the washing machine came to mind as a memorable development in Mr Kruger's life, the man of the moment had trouble pinpointing the most momentous occasion in his lifetime.
"It's impossible to say what's been the greatest thing,” Mr Kruger said.
He said global tragedies came to mind.
"The Great Depression was worse than the wars, because it affected everyone,” he said.
Mr Kruger is Roma's oldest person, and Australia's fourth oldest man.
He said it was an honour to have people gather to celebrate his and Mrs Reade's birthdays.
"It's terrific to have all these people here, and I know most of them personally,” Mr Kruger said.
In a brief speech before cutting the cake, Mr Kruger thanked guests, including family members, Pinaroo staff and residents and Warrego MP Ann Leahy for attending.
He made time for a couple of jokes, and ended with his trademark wit.
"It's been a remarkable 107 years, and I say 'bring on year 108',” Mr Kruger said.
Mr Kruger moved to Roma in 1986, living with his wife on Howard St.
His son still owns a property south of Roma, and Mr Kruger frequently made trips there to help out on the property until he was close to 100, he said.
Chrissy Kruger, Mr Kruger's daughter-in-law, said Mr Kruger had never allowed his age to be an obstacle.
"You shouldn't stop people from doing things just because of their age,” she said.
As to the secret to a long life, Mr Kruger had simple words of wisdom to offer.
"Always eat when you're hungry, drink when you're dry, sleep when you're sleepy and don't stop breathing or you'll die,” he said.