‘I’ve made it’: Australia’s oldest man turns 110
"I'VE MADE it!" Those were the first words to come to Dexter Kruger's mind when he woke up this morning on his 110th birthday.
Australia's oldest man and Roma resident, Mr Kruger was born in an era where horse and buggy was the main form of transport. Since 1910, he has lived through two world wars, released 12 books, and watched his family expand.
Mr Kruger celebrated the milestone, surrounded by friends, family and community members including Mayor Tyson Golder at a morning tea at Pinaroo.
"First day towards the next one. Only 365 days until my next birthday" he said.
"I feel good. I thought I would have high blood pressure, but I am feeling well" he said.
Mr Kruger has released a dozen books and reaching this milestone hasn't stopped him from publishing another. The Life and Times of Dexter Kruger will be available later this year and covers a period of 240 years.
"I don't have a favourite memory in my book. There are over 300 stories and they are all my favourite" he said.
"On my mother's side of the family there are four people over 100. But my books are a big part of what keeps me going" Mr Kruger said.
His secret to a good life is simple:
"Keep on, keeping on. Whatever you do, do well," he said.
"A person can only do his best, and if you do your best, you are doing quite well."
His calm nature has been a contributor to reaching this age bracket. "I think the big help is that I don't get cranky. If something you want, doesn't happen … 9 times out of 10 within the next few months, things often turn around" he said.
Mr Kruger may not have a favourite memory, but his eyes always light up when talking about his wife Gladys, who passed away at 77.
"I lived with my wife for 52-years and we never raised our voices at one another. Never had a cross word" he said.
Mr Kruger met his wife on New Years in 1932 at the age of 22 at a country dance.
"There was a row of 20 pretty girls. When it was my turn to dance with this girl, she smiled. And in that smile there was a cupids arrow and the barb went into the heart of a young man called Dexter Kruger" he said. The couple had two children, one not surviving. They have two grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. "I have enjoyed my life. Here's to making 111" Mr Kruger said.