Ron's 100 and still laughing
Alstonville’s Ron Simmons got a letter from the Queen to mark his 100th birthday recently, but he isn’t impressed by such formalities and hid it away in the bottom of a cupboard.
“There was something there from the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition and the local rat catcher,” he said. “It’s the usual thing. Most people enjoy it, but I don’t go for that kind of thing.”
Ron lives at the Alstonville Adventist Aged Care Facility and puts his continuing good health and longevity down to his vegetarian diet and his faith in God.
“I’m not doing too bad for an old fella,” he told The Echo.
Ron worked as a painter and decorator until he was 72 years old and moved to the North Coast in 1988 to be near his son and daughter-in-law.
“We came up here for a visit and decided we liked it and bought a block at Alstonville,” he said.
Ron has had a varied and interesting life, working as a professional baritone (singer) for a while, performing at weddings, funerals, concerts and on the radio. During the Depression he and a friend were selling clothes door to door in country Victoria.
“Rather than sitting at home we were able to get clothing wholesale, and we thought we’d go up the country and round about. It was alright for a while, but it got pretty cold. We were sleeping in the car by the riverbank, but we made pretty good money,” he said.
Ron married his wife Meryl in 1942. She died three years ago. He has two grandchildren and spent his birthday with about 90 friends, family, staff and other residents at the centre.
When he was told that The Echo had been sent a photo to put in the paper, he said, “that photo makes me look just like I am. They can put a man on the moon but they can’t make me look handsome!”