Exercise a priority for 101-year-old Perth man

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Arthur Leggett. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d495586a
d495586a Arthur Leggett. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d495586a

WORKING out at the gym and writing bush poetry is all in a day’s work for 101-year-old Arthur Leggett.

“The village where I live has a splendid gymnasium and I go there to have a bit of a workout as best as an 101-year-old man can,” he said.

The Hillview Village resident turned 101 on Sunday (September 8)and celebrated with five generations of his family as well as friends by the poolside.

Mr Leggett cooks for himself, recites poetry, attends bush poetry meetings, writes articles for his retirement village’s magazine and lives independently.

He was a prisoner of war in Germany during WWII and said although he refrained from dwelling on the past, the experience changed his way of thinking.

“You sit down and think ‘where am I going if I ever get out of this?’ and you shake up your thinking,” he said.

Mr Leggett wrote an autobiography, which sold 1000 copies, when he was 80 called Don’t Cry for Me.

He was also president of the Ex-Prisoners of War Association for 25 years.

“During that time, the Federal Government gave all ex-prisoners of war in the Japanese hands $20,000 grants, so another chap in Adelaide and I battled with the government for six years and got it for all the other ex-prisoners of war who had been stuck in Europe as well,” he said.

The High Wycombe resident is well-known at Mt Lawley Senior High School, where the library and The Arthur Leggett OAM EM Writing Prize were named in his honour.

“I’ve been associated with the high school for over 15 years now and I’ve endeavoured to hand back to the younger generation some of the experiences I’ve had to help them shape their life,” he said.

He said his secret to longevity in life was exercise.