I would like to introduce to you Jeffree Smith, local resident, eighty-four years old who walks every morning with his two friends Tom and Chris. It has been a pleasure to interview these three happy, energetic fellows.
Jeff always has a cheery smile and his outlook on life and tenacity to ‘keep moving’ is an inspiration to everyone who meets him. This is Jeffree’s story:
You will have read about Tom and Chris in previous seniors articles. Regardless of the weather, they walk every morning in Apex Park and, along with them, I am the third member of The Bay City Strollers. An apt name – so called by one of the other early morning walkers.
Our mornings, now winter is here, begin at 5.45am in Delancey Street where Tom joins us and when we reach the softball grounds, enter Apex Park at what we call ‘The South Pole’.
We continue to the children’s playground area to where the path ends on Starkey Street. We call this end the North Pole and, circling around, return along the creek path where Chris feeds the wildlife.
My walker gives me the support I need and, even though I lag behind Chris and Tom, it is an excellent way to start the day.
I grew up in Moree, NSW and at fifteen-and-a-half started working in a hardware store as a salesman. This job lasted for 27 years until the firm collapsed.
Fortunately, another business offered me a job and I was employed with them for 21 years.
In Moree, I married, brought up a family and on retirement in 2003 my wife and I moved to Queensland, first to Thornlands then in 2015 to Ormiston to be close to my son and grandchildren.
We have travelled to Fiji and Tasmania, but travel became difficult as I have Parkinson’s Disease, but I don’t allow this to dampen my outlook. I enjoy music and have my stereo set up in the garage where, even at 4am, I can have the volume as loud as I like.
I am content with my life; my work gave me the opportunity to meet people and so moulded me into the person I am today and, at 84, I greet every day in a positive way.