A new chapter in long life of bookworm

23:53, Jul 25 2014
Jack Hickson
CELEBRATION DAY: Jack Hickson celebrating his 101st birthday at Peacehaven Retirement Village.

He's 101 but reads about three books a week and without the aid of glasses.

Up until a couple of weeks ago Jack Hickson did 50 squats every morning and walked around the Peacehaven Retirement Village complex up to three times a day.

Tasmania-born Hickson celebrated his 101st birthday yesterday with an afternoon tea surrounded by family and friends, followed by a surprise dinner at the Ascot Park Hotel.

After he blew out the candle on one of three jelly sponges, Hickson reflected on his many years. He has worked as a shearer, at meatworks, been a farmer and served in the war.

One of his biggest life passions was cars and he proudly mentioned he had owned 27 or 28.

During his three years at Peacehaven, Hickson visited the on-site library often and read a book about every two days. His favourites: Westerns, hospital stories and car books.


His secret to a long life was hard work, he said.

"I've worked hard all my life."

Family friend Judy Jenks said the kind and gentle man enjoyed a joke, talking and his food, especially lamb with mint sauce.

Hickson received birthday cards from the prime minister, Invercargill mayor, minister of senior citizens, the Queen and governor-general among others. 

The Southland Times