NOT many people can say they have celebrated 100 birthdays.
Last week Cobden’s Peter Rankin joined the auspicious minority.
More than 100 people gathered in the Cobden Uniting Church hall last Saturday to help him celebrate his 100th birthday, with a number of family members and friends travelling from across the country for the special occasion.
Mr Rankin blew out the candles on a cake beautifully, and quite appropriately, decorated with vegetables, as he is well-known for the variety and quality of produce that has emanated from his veggie garden over the years.
Mr Rankin was born in Highton, Geelong on September 12, 1919, with his family later moving to Carpendeit.
At the age of 21 he enlisted in the Australian Army and fought in Morotai, the Middle East, Papua New Guinea and Borneo during World War II, reaching the rank of Lance Corporal.
After the war Mr Rankin settled back into life in Carpendeit working on his family’s bush block.
Later he worked with the Forestry Commission, a job he said he really enjoyed.
In his younger days, Mr Rankin enjoyed playing tennis, quoits and football and he is now the last surviving member of the Cobden Football Club’s 1948 premiership team in the Hampden Football League.
He was introduced to his future wife, local girl Marjorie Smith, by a cousin at a football match in Cobden and they were married in August 1954.
They had three children, Stuart, who was tragically killed after being hit by a motorist whilst walking home from school when he was six years old, Ann and Andrew and four grandchildren.
Following a long and happy marriage, Marj (as she was known) passed away in April 2017, and Mr Rankin now lives by himself in the home they shared together for nearly 63 years.
When asked about the secret of his longevity he answered without hesitation, “A happy marriage with plenty of ‘give and take’, good friends, keeping active and good genes”.