Well travelled and connected at 95 years of age
KILLARNEY'S Bruce Mackenzie awoke on his 95th birthday last week remarking that he "only had five years to wait until I get a letter from the Queen".
Celebrating the occasion with morning tea at his residence, Mr Mackenzie reflected on his many near misses ranging from childhood bucking horses, dodging bullets in the New Guinea jungle during the Second World War, standing on a stingray buried in the Tallebudgera sands, being stung by a swarm of bees while bulldozing and altercations in the yards with wild cattle.
"You cannot put a price on good health," he said.
After a bad fall at home late last year Bruce now requires full-time care at home.
"It has curtailed bulldozing and his mobility but he still manages to visit our cattle property, Gravel Creek, almost daily," his son and carer, Jamie Mackenzie, said.
Last weekend, Bruce travelled to Glen Innes to purchase a new stud Angus bull after studying the catalogues online.
Bruce Mackenzie is often in touch with family spread across the globe by Skype on the internet.
He retains a positive outlook on life, marvelling at road improvements, new energy innovations, current events and his family's career achievements.
Born at the end of the First World War, Bruce Mackenzie's earliest memories are of queues of funeral corteges waiting to bury children in the Rockhampton cemetery as the Spanish flu spread with returning soldiers.
Bruce has a lifelong interest in aircraft and travel since flying with Sir Kingsford Smith in Sydney as a boy.
Since 1962, there have been 16 overseas trips for Mr Mackenzie to Europe, the USA and to see his family in China, the Middle East and Canada as well as diverse sites like Egypt, Sri Lanka, India's Taj Mahal and Rio de Janeiro.
Two years ago he saw the Red Square in Russia and is now reading about cruises to the Pacific.
Mr Mackenzie often advocates that we should "count our blessings" and appreciates the open spaces, fresh food, clear skies and clean air of home.