Nagambie Kelvingrove Village resident John Sanderson joined the nonagenarian club this week.
Mr Sanderson’s family and good friend of many years Marg Rea gathered together with many of his friends to help him celebrate this special milestone at the Village community hall on Sunday with a surprise party lunch.
Mr Sanderson was born in Broadford on April 22, 1928, to parents Jean and Fred Sanderson. He was the eldest of three children and had two sisters, Valda who lives in Tasmania and Norma who died from polio aged 18.
Mr Sanderson went to Tallarook Primary School then St Mary’s in Seymour.
In 1952 he met Margaret Clifton, at Broadford. They were married on August 22, 1953 at the little wooden Catholic Our Lady Help of Christian church.
They were blessed with nine children. Sadly their first child John only lived 10 hours. But then along came Maree, Bernadette, John, June, Jillian, David and Damian (his twin Veronica died at birth).
Mr Sanderson’s family lived at Springvale, Tallarook until 1963. Then he moved to Nagambie. He worked for Bruce Forbes in his mechanical garage until 1988.
Then he started his own business for Massey Ferguson and other machines in town.
Mr Sanderson for many years was the top sales person in Australia and won a world award for his salesmanship with his agricultural business.
He retired about 10 years ago, and sold his business to his son Damian.
The Sanderson family lived in 267 High St, then in their Bryde St house for 32 years.
Mr Sanderson moved into Kelvingrove a year ago and said it was one of the best things he’d done.
Mr Sanderson is proud and happy to have 22 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren.
Mr and Mrs Sanderson travelled overseas and enjoyed going around Australia.
‘‘I have terrific memories of her; she was a wonderful person and wife for over 50 years,’’ Mr Sanderson said of Margaret, who died in December 2008.
John said the key to staying healthy was plenty of work, no smoking and just the occasional beer.
Congratulations John Sanderson on reaching 90 years of age. Best wishes from your family, friends and community.
— Diane Grant