Celebrating a century not out

Bringing up their children on the Sunshine Coast.

Former Sunshine Coast veteran Doug Simonds will be the latest Bolton Clarke Milford Grange Retirement Village resident at Ipswich to join the Centenarian Club when he celebrates his 100th birthday on Friday, 1 March.

Doug was born in Rockhampton in 1924, and with a father who served in WWI, the family were transferred to Brisbane, then Nambour before Doug found himself starting an apprenticeship with the Railway Workshops in 1940 at 16 years old.

Putting his wood machining apprenticeship on hold, he joined the Airforce in 1942 as a ground staffer, Leading Aircraftman.

“From Amberley, they booked us into the Coogee Bay hotel in Sydney right opposite the beach, after we did our course there, they then sent me to a place called Nowra in Jervis Bay,” he recalls.

“That was my first posting during the War and the funny thing is now, I have a great-grandson who has joined the Navy and at the present time he is stationed at the same base in Nowra. We can talk to each other about life at Jervis Bay without worry.”

After discharge in 1946, Doug married his wife and the couple moved up to a house on the canal in Maroochydore. He had three children, two boys and a girl, who have all gone on to have their own families and make Doug very proud of the legacy he has created.

It was access to health care and support that brought Doug to Milford Grange from the local Ipswich area 14 years ago, and he says that after a lifetime of moving around, it’s been nice to settle down.

“Nowadays I just go with the tide, and I don’t worry about a thing!”

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