Colin Fulford celebrating his 103rd birthday.
Colin Fulford celebrating his 103rd birthday.

Digger digs into his 103rd birthday cake

NEVER getting married could be the answer to living a long life for Colin Fulford.

The former Magnetic Island resident, who now calls the Bolton Clarke Rowes Bay retirement village home, celebrated his 103rd birthday yesterday.

"I'm a confirmed bachelor," Mr Fulford joked over a cup to tea and a slice of cake.

Mr Fulford was born in Colac, Victoria, in 1916 and grew up on a dairy farm with his sister and two brothers. He joined the army during World War II and was posted to Borneo and later Papua New Guinea. Returning to Australia after the war, Mr Fulford wanted to live in warmer climes after spending time in Darwin.

About 40 years ago he moved to Magnetic Island's Nelly Bay.

"I like the warm weather," he said.

Close friend Billy Cooke said Mr Fulford was heavily involved in the community as the caretaker of Nelly Bay State School and as a member of Arcadian Surf Life Saving Club. The two friends met at a lifesaving club community event when Mr Cooke, better known as Cookie, lost his chain with a $3000 gold nugget attached to it at the beach.

He said Mr Fulford helped find it using a metal detector.

"We've been friends ever since. We've been friends for 24 years," Mr Cooke said.

Mr Fulford moved to the retirement home a year ago where he is the oldest resident.