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Celebrating 104 years

Alf Bourne, long-time volunteer and supporter of BaptistCare considers himself an ordinary man, living an extraordinary life.

In October 2019 Alf celebrated his 104th birthday at BaptistCare’s Dorothy Henderson Lodge, where he continues to be an active and much-loved resident of the home in Sydney’s Macquarie Park. A very proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Alf’s family also joined him in the celebrations.

“One of the main things people do say about me is that I am ‘an inspiration’,” said Alf. “That’s a big word to be handling all the time.”

When asked his secret to longevity, he doesn’t hesitate, “I became a Christian in 1930 and God has looked after me ever since.”

“I have been all through country towns. I left school at 14. I hated school. I went down to the headmaster for a reference and he gave me one for good conduct.”

“I went into public service for some time and finished up in the Sheriff’s office. And the rest of my public service life was working with court work and auditing for the Auditor General. I was the senior auditor in the General’s department until I retired in 1975,” said Alf.

“For a man that didn’t have an education, I was right at the top. I’ve had a busy life.”

“I’ve been in Dorothy Henderson Lodge since 2002. I am a voluntary chaplain, talking with people all the time and helping them where possible. I say the grace before meals. I’m in everything, just about. And I’ve managed to keep playing the organ despite some pain in these later years. I still lead an interesting life. I’ve made a lot of friends,” said Alf.

“The treatment I get here is outstanding. The staff are 100 per cent. They’ve been marvellous to me. I can’t praise them enough.”

Born in Petersham in 1915, Alf grew up in Sydney’s inner west. He married his wife, Grace, in Tempe in 1943. They were married for 58 years before Grace sadly passed away in 2001.

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