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102-year-old Aussie WWII veteran reveals secret to long life
As ANZAC Day approaches, one of Romani aged care facility’s oldest residents, 102-year-old WWII veteran Mr Hector Post, reflects on his life.
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Mr Hector Post, who was born in Ceduna in 1921, will be an important part of the Anzac Day service being held at RSL Care SA’s Romani on Tumbella Drive, Murray Bridge.
“We have a dawn service here, and I’m doing the ode for that in the hall,” he said.
Mr Post served in Borneo from 1944 to 1946, driving Army officers in a jeep in the 3rd Motor Brigade and is proud of his war effort.
“I think of all the wars, World War II was the one to keep the country safe,” he said.
When he began his career as a wheat farmer, the farming was all done on horseback.
A 1939 photo in his room at Romani shows him on a horse for a kangaroo hunt and includes a kangaroo dog, the first Australian dog breed.
Other photos are of Mr Post’s late wife Alma.
Romani staff encourage personal touches inside and outside residents’ rooms.
A framed WWII service certificate shows that Hector’s actual name is Gordon Keith Post.
Mr Post explained where “Hector” came from.
“One of the chaps I worked with, Boss Carger, called me Hector: He kept saying to me, ‘What the heck did you do that for?’
“He gave me that name in 1936.
“All my kids call me Hector, and one of my grandchildren is called Hector – Leo Hector.”
Hector’s memory box outside his room contains items with meaning to him and includes photos of his friend Boss’s children.
“Boss’s kids came for my 100th birthday, and his daughter calls in quite often,” Mr Post said.
“Boss was my best mate,” he said but then added, “My wife was my best mate too – she was fantastic.
“We got on well together.
“When we retired, we did lawn bowls together and won championships together.”
Although Mr Post said that many members of his family have reached advanced ages, he believes that one factor in his longevity is happiness.
“Happiness is a big part of living a long life.
“My wife’s family were very happy – they’d all have big parties.”
Hector is a real example of what research has confirmed is important in having a long and healthy life: being in a loving relationship, having supportive friends and doing enjoyable activities – in short, being happy.
And Mr Post seems happy to be at Romani, describing it as “very good”.
“The girls are fantastic here: They look after you – they’re lovely kids,” he said.
Mr Post then explained that to him, kids are people “aged up to 60”.
His daughter Heather Fromm joked that she’s nearly 70, but she’s still a kid to her father.
The Romani staff go out of their way to make their residents comfortable and happy.
For example, although Mr Post was never a big drinker, he now enjoys a glass of whisky, which one of the “kids” at Romani, Mel, pours him every night.
These human gestures can make all the difference to residents’ happiness.
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