Wonderful life for centenarian

Malcolm QuekettThe West Australian

He has been a farmer, railway worker, soldier, truck driver and poultry producer.

But Alf Jenaway is not the sort of bloke to make a fuss about his rich and varied life.

It hardly matters because lined up along the mantelpiece in the lounge room of his home are cards from plenty of others who have made the fuss for him.

Mr Jenaway recently turned 100 and the congratulations have been pouring in from State and Federal leaders, WA Governor Kerry Sanderson and Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, not to mention the Queen.

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The recognition is a fitting tribute to Mr Jenaway's life of hard work and service to his country.

Born in Bungay, Suffolk, he came to WA in 1924 when his parents joined a group settlement scheme in the South West.

He later moved to a wheat farm at Aldersyde, between Brookton and Corrigin.

At 13 he left school to work on the farm, graduating to driving a team of eight horses.

Then it was on to the railways, and because it was considered an essential job, it meant his first bid to enlist when World War II broke out in 1939 was rejected.

He was finally successful in joining in 1941 and saw action in Palestine and Syria.

He returned to Australia before being redeployed to New Guinea in the battle to halt the Japanese, then on to Tarakan as the Allies advanced on Borneo and victory.

He played down his service years and the sacrifice it involved.

"It was there to be done and we did it," Mr Jenaway said.

When it was all over, he returned to Perth and worked for a while doing house repairs before heading back to the railways, then taking on poultry farming and truck driving.

Along the way, he married Eileen, now aged 93.

They had seven children, which in turn have provided 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

As for turning 100, Mr Jenaway is philosophical. "Well, it's just a matter of age," he said.

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