Lifestyle

Rupert survives drowning and bombing to dance on to 105

LAUGHTER IS KEY: Ipswich man Rupert Cliff will be 105 next week.
LAUGHTER IS KEY: Ipswich man Rupert Cliff will be 105 next week. Rob Williams

 

Rupert Cliff will be turning 105 next week. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Rupert Cliff will be turning 105 next week. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

THERE are a few lifestyle choices that could explain why Rupert Cliff is still able to live happily in his own cosy Ipswich granny flat, despite pushing 105 years.

The English-born centenarian points to his daily consumption of porridge and an aversion to water, which came from a near-drowning incident at the age of four. Although family members think Mr Cliff's years of dancing might have contributed to his longevity, too.

Either way, this walking miracle of a great-grandfather is also a living, breathing, history book and a great source of joy to his family, who will celebrate his 105th birthday with a barbecue on May 12. Mr Cliff was born into a blended family at Burton on Trent - then a beer-brewing town, north-east of Birmingham, in 1909.

"I used to drink a certain amount of beer, until I discovered Johnnie Walker and cranberry juice, which was quite nice," he said.

"These days I mainly drink milk. I will have a warm milk to settle the stomach before bed."

Mr Cliff was the only child of the union between his mother and father but had two older half-sisters - Ivy and Gertrude - who have long since died.

One of Mr Cliff's earliest childhood memories was of being either pushed or falling into a local swimming hole as a four-year-old.

"Fortunately, there was a man working nearby, who fished me out of the water," Mr Cliff said.

"From then on, I've had an aversion to water that is so strong that I won't even drink the stuff."

Mr Cliff left school at 14 to learn sheet metal work and eventually worked at the Austin motor car factory.

The Second World War broke out, while he was working at the factory, and he can still remember the day when the air raid sirens went off - and he came very close to being blown up by a hovering German bomber.

"Overhead, I saw the biggest aeroplane I had ever seen in my life - it was a Dornier bomber," Mr Cliff said.

"I watched as the bombs came down - I was still running as they hit the ground.

"I remember bits of railway line and stuff going everywhere - I could see all the colours of the rainbow."

Life wasn't all doom and gloom around those times.

Mr Cliff married his sweetheart Margaret around the outbreak of the war and the pair had one child, Roderick. "We only had enough money for one," Mr Cliff joked.

"Jobs and money were very short everywhere in those times."

Roderick and his wife moved to Australia in the early 1970s but kept in close contact with Mr Cliff, with the patriarch often flying across the world to visit. When Margaret died about five years ago, aged 94, Mr Cliff decided to move to Australia permanently.

Topics:  centenarians longevity



Generous pay cheque for dull ideas

Australia Post.

I wouldn't mind $4.4 million a year

EXCLUSIVE: CFMEU mining boss reveals why he backs Miller

HITS AND MEMORIES: Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller MP with some of her favourite QT posters.

'She works her arse off in the local community. The people love her'

Sportsbet installs LNP as favourites at next election

SPEAKING OUT: Sean Choat agrees with Sportsbet on the LNP being favourite to form government at the next state election, but says the party must learn lessons from the past.

Choat agrees with bookies but insists lessons of past must be heeded

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!