HALLS Head resident David Frank Lloyd celebrated his 100th birthday last week.
Mr Lloyd was born in Bellevue and his early memories are of working after school in the family’s orchard in Maida Vale, where his father grew passionfruit, peaches, figs and watermelon.
He left school at 14 and taught himself carpentry.
“I watched the carpenters and builders, bought books to learn carpentry and became a builder,” he said.
In 1941 he had married his childhood sweetheart Mavis.
They courted beneath the Moreton Bay fig tree that still stands on Stingray Point on the site of the since demolished Peninsula Hotel.
The first years of their married life were alongside rail lines, often living in rough hessian tents, and cooking on a mudstone fireplace Mr Lloyd had built.
The tea kettle was a bean tin and Mr Lloyd recalls that his wife could not abide the huge centipedes that climbed the walls of their shelter.
Mr Lloyd was later involved in erecting buildings along the Ghan tracks, north to Darwin, at Quorn, Maree, and Oodnadatta, where he built the running sheds where the engines and wagons were repaired.
He built a house in Osborne Park as a wedding present for his wife and after World War II, and went on building houses across Perth.
Later Mr Lloyd would have the Osborne Park house cut in two and transported to Halls Head and he still lives in it today.
He said he was proud of his work as a builder in the 1940s to 1960s.
“I would go around on a Sunday afternoon and check on the work and see that we had done a good job with a sense a pride and good workmanship,’’ he said.
There are still timber homes built by him all over Perth and he also built the dance floor at Osborne Park Bowling Club, where he was a founding member.