Stumer's 100 is proof that age is just a number

John Stumer turns one hundred years old on Sunday.
John Stumer turns one hundred years old on Sunday. Rob Williams

JOHN Stumer is living proof that hard work, a love of life and a positive attitude mean age is just a number, not a state of mind.

Asked how it felt to be 100, he sat up straight and declared: "I don't feel a bit like it".

"Every morning I kick the covers off and move my arms and legs around," Mr Stumer said. "The only thing is my knees. The knees are the first thing to go on you. I'd be a lot more active if it wasn't for my knees.

The only thing is my knees. The knees are the first thing to go on you. I'd be a lot more active if it wasn't for my knees.

"Otherwise, I feel excellent. My doctor couldn't get over it. He said: 'You're looking younger'. He's been my doctor for 30 years; he's coming to the party on Sunday. Every morning I rub from my hips to my ankles and from my wrists to my shoulders. I shower myself, dress myself; everything, no problems."

Mr Stumer was born at Vernor, between Fernvale and Lowood, and went to Fernvale School until he left at the age of nine to work on the family farm.

He helped his father drive a bullock team carting logs to the Fernvale sawmill and at 14 started driving it by himself.

At 21 he left the farm to work underground in the mines, starting at Thagoona, Rosewood, Moggill and Collinsville.

"It was very hard digging with a shovel," he said.

He finished his mining career after 24 years at Box Flat mine where he was the union chairman for 12 years.

"I worked in Box Flat at the time it blew up; 17 men lost their lives," he said sadly.

After retiring from Box Flat, Mr Stumer worked for Thiess. He had a little blue minivan to drive a couple of men to construction sites and often they had a long line of vehicles behind them as the van struggled up hills.

Mr Stumer also became involved at Coalstars soccer club, going from business to business to get donations for raffles.

He loved gardening and his family had lots of flowers and fresh vegetables. Neighbours called him the potato man and he always had some to give them. On Mother's Day, he sold chrysanthemums in front of the family home on Whitehill Rd.

John Stumer moved to Bundaleer Lodge two years ago and loves visits from his family, especially when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren call in.

Topics:  100th birthday

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