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Queensland man sets new record for longest life

Georgie Adams, May 18, 2021 7:00PM News Corp Australia Network

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Australia's oldest person Dexter Kruger sets a new record at 111 years and 124 days. media_cameraAustralia's oldest person Dexter Kruger sets a new record at 111 years and 124 days.

civics

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Queenslander Dexter Kruger felt like he could “jump and skip” when he celebrated becoming Australia’s oldest ever man at 111 years and 124 days.

On May 17, Mr Kruger overtook the previous record holder, World War I veteran Jack Lockett, who died in 2002 at the age of 111 years and 123 days.

Mr Kruger, a published author, former grazier* and cheeky centenarian*, hasn’t let age slow him down – he is now in the final stages of writing his 13th book.

The 111-year-old said the secret to longevity* is finding something you enjoy doing and do it well.

“I set myself a goal when I was quite young and I achieved that,” Mr Kruger said.

“And I still set goals in my day to day and I feel on top of the world.

“I’m feeling very healthy, I’m still active and I eat well.”

media_cameraDexter Kruger, felt as though he could “jump and skip” when he celebrated becoming Australia’s oldest ever man, at the tender age of 111 years and 124 days. Picture: Katrina Ayers.

Dignitaries* – including Minister for Defence Peter Dutton and the local mayor – together with family and friends celebrated the achievement at Pinaroo aged care facility in Roma, inland to the west of the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Kruger told the minister he listened to the parliamentary procedures on the radio and thinks, “by and large we are pretty well governed.”

“In the type of society we have today, it’s impossible to please everybody,” he said.

Mr Dutton commended* Australia’s oldest man for committing his life to paper and keeping a record for generations to come.

“As it turns out, my grandmother was born two days later than you and you share a similar family history. She came off the land, they were dairy farmers and the stories she told – growing (up) through the drought, Depression and World Wars – was probably lost to a point at a young age on us kids, and what I regret is that we didn’t document these things like you have done for your family.

“You have made a tremendous impact on a lot of people,” Mr Dutton said.

media_cameraDexter Kruger with Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and Defence Minister Peter Dutton.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud labelled Mr Kruger a “living legend” and said the fact he still resides in Roma was a testament to the lifestyle of the region.

“There’s so much wisdom that you have been able to share over the years, not only through your books but the conversations, which is so special about our community here, we can respect and admire a great man who has hit a great milestone,” he said.

Meeting Mr Kruger numerous times over the years, mayor Tyson Golder said every time brought something new.

“I also heard this morning you eat chicken brains, so that’s a new one and could be part of your longevity,” Mr Golder joked.

Mr Kruger’s 74-year-old son Greg said his dad asked him years ago whether he would ever receive an award on Australia Day.

“Because I don’t believe anybody has known him longer than I have, I’d just like to say he doesn’t need something handed to him on Australia Day because today he can write after his name AOM* – Australia’s oldest man,” he said.

Mr Kruger said he is looking forward to turning 112 and is already a “third of the way there, not bad is it?”

media_cameraAustralia’s oldest person Dexter Kruger celebrates with family and friends.

GLOSSARY

  • grazier: large-scale sheep or cattle farmer
  • centenarian: a person who is 100 or more year old
  • longevity: long life or existence
  • dignitaries: a person considered important because of rank or office
  • commended: praise or approve in some formal or official way
  • AOM: Medal of the Order of Australia, this award is part of the Australian honours system

EXTRA READING

New official record for world’s oldest person

Another crazy year of Guinness World Records

Humans on quest to live forever

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What is the new record set by Dexter Kruger?
  2. Who was the record previously held by and at what age?
  3. What does Defence Minister Peter Dutton commend Mr Kruger for doing?
  4. Mr Kruger eats something unusual – what is it?
  5. What does AOM usually stand for? Hint: it’s not Australia’s Oldest Man – see the glossary for help with this one!

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Secrets to a Long Life
Work with a classmate and create a table. In the first column record what you think about the information that was in the article that has led Mr Kruger to live such a long life. In the second column write all the factors you believe will help others live to the ripe old age of 111.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical education, Personal and social

2. Extension
If you were born around 2010, and you were lucky enough to live to 111, it would be the year 2121. Brainstorm a list of the new technologies and inventions we might see in our world in that time period? Does this excite you or seem a bit scary?

How the world might change between 2010 and 2121? Make a list of at least six suggestions.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
I Spy Nouns
Nouns are places, names (of people and objects), and time (months or days of the week).

How many nouns can you find in the article?

Can you sort them into places, names and time?

Pick three nouns and add an adjective (describing word) to the nouns.

Extra Reading in civics