A MODEST celebration and "no fuss" was what Stawell's David Young said he wanted for his birthday but it's not every day the region gets to celebrate someone turning 100.
With a bright smile, Mr Young can still recall his younger years of growing up in Ultima before his life journey took him on a path that saw him move to Stawell.
And his life journey began, in 1922, on June 23.
Mr Young was working with a road contractor after the war throughout the Mallee before meeting his wife, Kathleen.
"My father had a farm at a place called Nowie South and all us kids were brought up on the farm," he said.
"When I came back from the Army I went on the road building contracting. I had some machinery and we used to camp in a tent on the side of the road. I lived where I worked.
"I got a bit sick of that and I decided to settle down and get married."
Mrs Young, nee Hillerman, hailed from the NSW town of Kyalite - just over the border on the other side of the Murray River.
"I met her at a dance," he said.
"It sort of progressed from there. We used to do a lot of dancing."
Mr and Mrs Young had one daughter, and three sons - Cherrelle, Colin, Greg and Rodney.
"We brought the children up in Swan Hill," he said.
"I was still contracting for a good while and then I got the opportunity to buy into a butcher's business so I went butchering.
"I stuck at that for quite a few years. I sold out in Swan Hill and went to Perth.
"I had spent some time in Perth and Western Australia whilst in the Army. I always wanted to go back and have another look at it.
"I was looking around to go into a butchering business or going back on the land. We didn't stick at it very long, mainly because Kathleen was homesick.
"The opportunity arrived to buy a butchering business in Stawell, and here we are."
Mr Young, at the time of his retirement, owned three butcher shops in Stawell which included his own slaughter yard.
"I eventually went back to leasing 1100 acres of land at Deep Lead," he said.
"I left the butchering part of it to my eldest son when I semi-retired to spend some more time on the land.
"We had about 10 or a dozen butchers.
"We had to buy our own stock from all over the place. You didn't buy it from a wholesaler.
"I bought the stock from the farmer and took it to my own yards which was on about 20 acres of land."
The Youngs took a trip to America for about a month in the 50s or 60s - he couldn't quite remember the date.
"We saw the inside of many nightclubs and had a lot of fun," Mr Young said.
"We didn't stay in one place. We rat raced all over the place. We wanted to see as many places as we could while we were there.
"I didn't think the plane would be able to get off the ground when we were coming home. We were buying keepsakes to bring home."
Throughout his life, Mr Young was very keen on fishing and shooting.
"I really enjoyed that," he said.
"I did a fair bit of trap shooting and clay targets.
"Sport. I played cricket hopelessly. Football - mediocre. A little bit of boxing but I found that a bit hard on the eyesight. And golf - hopelessly."
Adding to the growing family, at a count in 2022, Mr Young has 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Sadly, on ANZAC Day 2022 the family number declined by one as Mr Young lost his wife at 96 years of age.
Mr Young still lives at home and manages day-to-day tasks with some assistance from family.
To fill in his days he listens to the radio and loves listening to music.
"I like to watch football - I don't follow a particular team but I do follow Geelong a bit," he said.
"When the weather is nice I get out and about."
Some advice for all to get to the grand old age of 100?
"Keep away from jealous husbands," Mr Young said.
"Enjoy your life as much as possible. You only get one shot."
Mr Young will celebrate his birthday with family and friends with some special surprises planned.
"It's a bit amazing isn't it - just the luck of the draw I suppose," he said.
"I've got good genes. Most of my family have lived a fairly long life. My father lived to 96.
"Luck has a lot to do with it. To live to about 90 and be shot by a jealous husband isn't what I wanted.
"So I made sure that didn't happen and escaped that kind of death and made my way to 100."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.