Roma man Dexter Kruger becomes oldest Australian at 110-years-old
They say that age equals wisdom and no person in Australia has more of it than Roma’s Dexter Kruger, Australia’s oldest person.
The southwest Queensland resident has been crowned Australia’s oldest person just days before his 111th birthday, after the passing of 111-year-old Mabel Crosby on December 30, 2020.
Born on January 13, 1910, Dexter arrived in the world at Nundah at 5.30am after his mother travelled from Kilcoy on horseback and train in time for his birth.
And having been born four years before the outbreak of World War I, Dexter has seen rapid technological and global changes in his long lifetime, but he credits his longevity to his sense of humour and his resilience through highs and lows.
“Well, it’s me, you see. And that’s why I’m here today and other people are not,” he said.
“I can see the humour in what other people do not see.
“I’m frequently asked, what’s my secret - my sense of humour.”
Growing up on the family farm in Kilcoy for 58 years, he moved to Linville for eight years before purchasing a bigger property at Nanango.
He lived there for 14 years before moving to Roma, a place known for having massive plots of rural land available at the time.
It’s in Roma where Dexter and his family has stayed for almost 31 years.
And even at his ripe old age, Dexter still maintains his incredible memory and sharp wit.
It was a quarter of a century ago, at the age of 86, when he became an author and since then has published 13 books including As You Like It, Mustering The Strays, and Dexter At His Best.
His autobiography is expected to be released later this year.
“The only problem is that I dribble,” he joked.
Dexter has seen a lot in his lifetime but said his most memorable moment in his lifetime was the surrender of Japan in World War II.
“I can remember one thing, a great number of the residents of the town where we lived, we danced in the street,” he said.
“It was the beginning too of great prosperity.”
While he has lost much of his sight and hearing, Dexter still enjoys sitting down to listen to the news being read out to him.
Last year Dexter became Australia’s oldest digital news subscriber, and has friends read him the Western Star, Courier-Mail and other news from time to time.
“Comparing the radio, one of the radio stations puts on a story, and the Courier-Mail or Sunday Mail writes a story - the written word is more easily understood,” Dexter said.
“One reason is that you can visit it over and over again.
Dexter said his proudest achievements included being the secretary of the Brisbane Valley United Graziers Association for 20 years, and his wedding to Gladys Beanland in 1942.
Now Australia’s oldest person, Dexter was unsure if he wanted to become the world’s oldest man, which is a record currently held by Spain’s Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia at the age of 111 years and 331 days.
“It doesn’t take long to get sick and it doesn’t really… I was not sort of hanging in there,” he said.
Dexter has one son Greg, two grandsons, and six great grandchildren.
His youngest grandson Ryan is 11 years old, 100 years younger than Dexter.