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Centenarian Profiles Edward and Harry (63 of 74)_edited.jpg

Harry Perry

Born 1922, age 100

“A country boy at heart."


Henry (Harry) Perry has had a colourful life, trying different jobs in different locations that eventually brought him to the Illawarra coast, but he is a country boy at heart.

Born in 1922 on a farm on the outskirts of Orange, Harry’s family owned a sheep farm where he would spend his childhood helping around the property with his four siblings. He has a rich family history and lineage, even traced back to those who arrived in Australia on the First Fleet.

He attended a small school in town, and rode a pony 3 kilometres every day to get there. Unfortunately, when he was 14, Harry developed Pneumonia and spent three months in Orange Base Hospital seriously ill. When his older brother passed away, Harry never returned to school as his father insisted he work on the family farm.

Throughout his life, Harry tried many different jobs, from working in a large grocery store in Orange, driving taxis and buses, delivering blocks of ice to businesses, delivering bread for the local bakery, and for some time even being involved in the local Pony Club where he instructed and built several horse floats. He recalled that driving taxi’s through the night in Orange got so cold, he would have to sit with a blanket around his legs to keep the blood flowing!

He owned 36 cars over his lifetime, and at one point worked for Wollongong Council in the machine shop, working on cars. At one time or another, every member of Harry’s family had worked at Wollongong Council, contributing to the community in their own way.

He met his late wife Nancy in Port Kembla, and they married on the 30th of October 1944. Together they had two children, Ross and Christopher, and three grandchildren. When speaking of his greatest achievements, Harry notes his family life and the beautiful home they built together as the happiest time of his life.

Harry’s friendly and calm demeanour makes him well-liked by those who meet him. When asked about what advice he would like to pass on to the younger generations about how to live a long, good life as he has, Harry’s humour shines through as he remarked, “Keep your mouth shut!”.

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