Cessnock centenarian Walter ‘Les’ Edmonds lifts weights every day, and has just started to learn to use a computer.
Keeping his body and mind active is important to the Mountain View Lodge resident, who turned 100 on July 8.
Mr Edmonds was a powerlifting champion who competed into his eighties and holds several Australian and Oceania records, and still lifts light weights on a daily basis.
“It’s a habit of a lifetime,” he said.
“It’s a culture; I would feel lost without it.”
He proudly completed one lap of Baddeley Park at last year’s Cessnock Relay For Life, and is hoping to do the same at this year’s event in October.
Born at Mrs Patching’s Nursing Home in Adelaide in 1916, Mr Edmonds moved to the Hunter region in 1956 with his wife Joy and four children.
Mr Edmonds was a registered nurse for more than 30 years, working in mental health care at Morisset Hospital.
Mrs Edmonds, who passed away in 2013, was also a nurse at the hospital.
“She was a very inspirational woman,” Mr Edmonds said.
Mr Edmonds has been living at Cessnock aged care facility Mountain View Lodge for about 12 months, just a couple of blocks from his daughter Rose Coleman and her husband John.
He said he feels very fortunate to live in a place where he’s well looked after.
“This is a paradise,” he said.
Several family members and friends, plus Mountain View Lodge residents and staff, joined Mr Edmonds for his birthday morning tea on Friday.
“It’s a wonderful thing to feel so respected,” he said.
He received letters of congratulations from dignitaries including the Queen of England, Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Mike Baird.
Reaching the milestone of 100 years, Mr Edmonds said it’s only natural to realise you might not have much more time.
“You’ve got to accept it (ageing), because everything dies,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.