Bill turns 101

HE still rouses on his five sons but Bill Wilkins does his best to behave.

That's what he'll tell you, anyway.

The spritely Hervey Bay resident turned 101 yesterday and celebrated with family and friends at the Boat Club.

He lapped up the attention but remained modest about his involvement in the region.

Quick to show their pride for their dad, however, were Les, John, Colin, Alan and Bob.

Les, 74, said Bill was a fantastic person: “Everybody says their father is special but ours really is special.”

He said he and his brothers grew up in hard times after the Depression and World War II but were always looked after by Bill and their late mum, Jean.

The family moved to Hervey Bay from Kingaroy in 1951 and Bill quickly became a solid member of the community. He bought land and built a garage on the Esplanade in Torquay where he was a mechanic.

He then turned to real estate with Les before moving on to furniture sales and removals.

Alan, 70, said Bill was always involved in progress associations, with the council and Scouts.

He remembers watching Bill and Jean barn-dancing at the Kingaroy school hall into the wee hours of the morning.

And, he said, Bill could still find plenty of energy: “When he has his great-grandkids around he goes back to 60 years old.”

“He is so determined, our dad,” Les said. “Last year he said that his 100th birthday was the practice run.”

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