Bunbury boxer Bill Ivory celebrates his 100th birthday at the PCYC

Over the years: Bill Ivory when he was the WA state coach, presenting a trophy to 1965 golden gloves champion Ray Arthur. Picture: Supplied
Over the years: Bill Ivory when he was the WA state coach, presenting a trophy to 1965 golden gloves champion Ray Arthur. Picture: Supplied

A BUNBURY boxing legend who spent more than six decades mentoring Bunbury youths has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Bunbury PCYC boxing volunteer, Bill Ivory, blew out his 100th candle last Wednesday at the PCYC.

Surrounded by family, friends and many of his previous boxing students, the party was held outside at Bunbury PCYC, with the entrance area appropriately decorated with boxing gloves by PCYC Institute of Training students.

Mr Ivory began learning to box when he was just 14 years old - inspired by his brother, Harry Ivory, who was a professional on the circuit.

At 16, Mr Ivory won his first fight (as dobbed in by Harry), earning his two pounds for his victory.

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During his career, Mr Ivory fought for state and national titles and was named coach of the state team on three occasions.

He retired from fighting in 1946 and found himself in Bunbury in 1951.

When the Mail first spoke to Mr Ivory in 2011, he said he had accomplished his "greatest achievements" since coming to Bunbury.

"After coming here I have helped those who were on the wrong track in life get onto the right one," Mr Ivory said.

"My involvement has helped change their lifestyle - giving them confidence not just in their fighting but throughout their lives."

Mr Ivory's long list of achievements include 12 years at Bunbury Football Club as a fitness coach and a mentor at the Australind Senior High School.

The PCYC gave Mr Ivory a life membership in 1958 and in 2009 they named their leisure room after him.

At his 100th birthday celebrations, Mr Ivory enjoyed cupcakes and a trip down memory lane as shared by Master of Ceremonies, Tom Dillon.

"Believe me, no way in the world can I say enough thanks for the effort you people have made to come and say hello," Mr Ivory said at the event.

"No way in the world do I deserve the importance that I've had - I'm thinking half the time they must be talking about someone else."

Those interested can view photos highlighting Mr Ivory's career and community contributions at the Bunbury PCYC.