GOOD NEWS

Gymea's Frank Mawer - Australia's oldest man - celebrates 109th birthday

Frank Mawer on his 109th birthday. Picture: supplied
Frank Mawer on his 109th birthday. Picture: supplied

Frank Mawer, Australia's oldest man and still living independently, celebrated his 109th birthday on Sunday in his Gymea home surrounded by family thanks to the wonders of technology.

Mr Mawer's son Barry, 75, was was able to be with his father in person while other members of the family logged on from around Australia and overseas.

The celebration included a birthday cake with sparklers and the number 109 on top for "the birthday boy" and cup cakes for those attending remotely.

Barry and Frank Mawer take part in the zoom session. Picture: supplied

Barry and Frank Mawer take part in the zoom session. Picture: supplied

Mr Mawer still lives on his own in his Gymea apartment supported by HammondCare At Home staff who drops by four days a week.

To help him avoid falls, support handle bars have been installed around his unit, fixtures he says make his unit feel a little like a "bull pen".

Barry Mawer said his father had his first hip replacement in February this year, and had made an excellent recovery.

"He seems to be in the best shape he's been in for a while," he said.

Frank and Elizabeth Mawer on their wedding day.

Frank and Elizabeth Mawer on their wedding day.

Mr Mawer attributes his longevity to "no smoking, no drinking and no gambling".

He became Australia's oldest man last month after Dexter Kruger passed away in Roma, Queensland, aged 111.

Born in 1912, Mr Mawer has lived through some tough times, including two pandemics, the first being the Spanish Flu.

His mother died when he was 12 and he was made a ward of the state.

Mr Mawer married Elizabeth, an Irish immigrant, in 1939 and they raised six children. She died in 2011, aged 92

The extended family has grown to 13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

Mr Mawer, who has had both COVID-19 vaccinations, is continuing to make plans for the future, including paying a deposit at the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort, Bateau Bay in mid December.

It has been the family's annual vacation destination for more than 60 years.

HammondCare Chief Executive Mike Baird said the organisation was honoured to work with Mr Mawer's family to support him continue to live independently.

"Mr Mawer is without doubt the most inspiring individual - a family man and a man of faith. He is an example for us all about how to life the fullest," Mr Baird said.

"Everyone at HammondCare extends to him the very best wishes as he celebrates his birthday with his family."

This story The 109th birthday celebrated on Zoom first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.