Edward Simms has reached a milestone few can claim.
On Wednesday the Callala Bay man turned 100 years old and he celebrated the occasion surrounded by family and friends at a party hosted by his granddaughter Danielle Ryan at Club Callala on Saturday.
Mr Simms received a letter from Queen Elizabeth commending him for reaching the personal milestone, which he proudly had on display at the party for everyone to read.
“I started off in the chemical game. It was my first job. Then I finished up as a pool attendant at Granville Swimming Pool,” Mr Simms said.
“Then the war started and I was doing Morse code. I learned it and joined the navy as a wireless operator.”
Mr Simms spent all of World War II with the Royal Australian Navy.
“I travelled to Port Moresby first for 12 months and after returning from there, I worked as a sparker with the Commodore Convoys. We closed the Commodore Convoys down after we were nearly sunk off Coffs Harbour. The Ormiston was hit by a torpedo.
“Then after that I went to HMAS Arunta until the end of the war.”
When Mr Simms finished his career in the navy he returned to the job he had left at Granville Pool in Western Sydney.
Chatting with him you get the impression he took his supervisor role very seriously. On more than one occasion he had to remove a young Paul Hogan, who worked as an attendant, from the facility for taking too much interest in the girls at the pool.
“I came back to Granville Pool as manager and I finished up as general manager of Granville and Parramatta swimming pools for 40 years,” Mr Simms said.
Asked what the secret to a long life was, Mr Simms was sure it was all down to a very special dietary habit.
“When I went to the navy I always drank OP rum and dry ginger ale,” he said.
“I was renowned here [Club Callala] for that, I never drank beer or anything else, always OP rum and dry ginger ale.”