Born 1918, age 104
“I’ve had a wonderful life, really. A very happy life.”
Eddie is the youngest of eight children, and has had a rich family life and an interesting career.
Eddy’s father initially moved from England to Australia due to a big opening for electrical work. When Eddy left school, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps with an electrical apprenticeship in Sydney. His entire family were heavily involved in providing the greater city of Wollongong with electricity – something Eddy is rightfully very proud of.
When he was 18, Eddy was hired by Wollongong Council, causing him to settle in the area. While living here, he became close friends with a girl who lived next door to him, who introduced him to her sister – the girl he would marry!
Eddy and Dorothy were married early in the 1940’s, and together had three children. Eddy gushes about how great of a wife Dorothy was, even though they had a tough start due to the war. He jokes that he was grateful that he was able to marry up! He describes Dorothy as an ‘absolutely wonderful, fantastic girl’, and they had a first-grade marriage.
Eddy had to appeal his call to serve in the armed forces during the war. As he was one of the few people who could keep electricity operating in Wollongong, he was told he had to stay to keep the lights on for everyone.
Because of his skills and knowledge, Eddy was tasked with managing the planning and implementation of all the traffic light signals in Wollongong, with the first set being put in place in 1954. By the time he retired, Eddy was looking after a total of 74 sets of traffic signals!
Eddy found it difficult to decide his greatest achievement, but it would probably be when he challenged council by himself, and was successful. When the council decided to build a new swimming pool in the area, they chose Wiseman’s Park – however, this was directly opposite where Eddy lived, and he didn’t want to live across from a pool. He tried to get a petition signed, but people just didn’t seem to care. Determined to prove wrong the people who said he would have no hope of making a difference, Eddy took the council on by himself. And as a result of his determination, eventually the council were convinced to move the pool to Dapto instead.
Eddy still lives at his home in Gwynneville, and he says that people don’t understand how he can keep living by himself – and he jokes that at 104 years of age, he doesn’t know either!
Eddy is well looked after by both his neighbours and Warrigal Home Services. Every morning his neighbour brings him breakfast, and Eddy thinks she is ‘just wonderful’! He says that she makes his day every morning. Warrigal Home Services also visit twice a day, cleaning the house, and organising lunch and dinner for him. He says there is nothing like being in your own home, and he is very content.