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Australia’s oldest man turns 110

CELEBRATING his 110th birthday today, Australia's oldest man is still as sharp as a tack, loves to laugh and is passionate about his hobbies.

Queenslander Dexter Kruger also knows everybody wants in on his secret to living to such a ripe old age.

When asked to share it, the Kilcoy-born farmer and entrepreneur - who retired at 95 - quickly replied: "I knew you were going to bring that up because everyone does.

 

Dexter Kruger says he’s busy writing his autobiography. Picture: Liam Kidston
Dexter Kruger says he’s busy writing his autobiography. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

"Always eat when you are hungry, always drink when you are dry, always sleep when you are sleepy, don't stop breathing or you'll die," Mr Kruger said, borrowing from an often-quoted old verse, with a cheeky grin.

But he admitted the true key to his longevity may likely be in his genes.

"I had two cousins who made 100, and then my ­mother's sister made 103, and I am 110," he told The Courier-Mail.

Mr Kruger was born on January 13, 1910, into what he describes as a different world to today's, before the First World War and when the news took more than a day to arrive to the family farm by train.

"You could say that the horse and buggy was still the transport while motor cars were coming on," he said of his childhood.

"The change (of technology) has been very gradual - it's hard to realise."

But he has learnt to embrace the unstoppable march of progress, especially as he cracks on with his favourite past-time: writing.

"I do find the technology, especially in producing my books, just marvellous," he said.

 

Dexter Kruger will celebrate his birthday with his family today. Picture: Liam Kidston
Dexter Kruger will celebrate his birthday with his family today. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

Having first started writing at 86 years young, he is now busy with his next book: an autobiography about his life.

"It's a long way off being published - it is a biography - but I have 12 other books (published)," he said.

Mr Kruger, who now lives in a retirement home in the western Queensland town of Roma, will be spending today surrounded by 50 of his friends and family.

"We only invited about half a dozen people really, but it was sort of an open-ended invitation," he says.

"It's going to be quite a day."

Among the greatest achievements in his life, he says, was convincing the Roma Salesyards - the largest in Australia - to weight cattle by the kilo rather than by head in the 1990s.

When asked what his favourite thing about turning 110 is, Mr Kruger simply said: "The best thing is being a year older than 109."



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