111 happy returns for oldest Aussie
They say that age equals wisdom, and no person in Australia has more of it than Roma's Dexter Kruger, Australia's oldest person who turns 111 years young today.
After the passing of 111-year-old Mabel Crosby on December 30, southwest Queensland supercentenarian Dexter became Australia's oldest living person.
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."
The humour even extends to his birthday wishes, with the country's oldest grazier asking for two simple things for his 111th birthday.
"My two front teeth!'' he said laughing.
"Or I like chocolate.''
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 stayed for almost 31 years, and will be celebrating the special occasion.
While Dexter has managed to rack up his fair share of birthdays, a special "large smoko" is on the cards for today's affair, though sadly while it will be held at the Kruger's family home, Dexter himself won't be able to attend due to health concerns.
Regardless it won't dampen the mood of the celebration, with Dexter's son Greg telling The Courier-Mail "hundreds of stories" will be traded over drinks and food.
"Obviously we can't have everyone we want, but it's still going to be a huge affair for us and the town," Greg said.
"Everyone has their own story or tale about him, and it's no surprise with how long he's been around for."
The next milestone for Dexter is no small feat either, with him set to clinch the record of Australia's Oldest Living Man of all time, set to clock in at 111 years and 124 days on May 17th, taking over from late Victorian Jack Lockett.
- additional reporting by Nathan Edwards
Originally published as 111 happy returns for oldest Aussie