Yanchep: Former Wanneroo Primary headmaster turns 100

William Gilchrist (seated) with great grand daughter Lilly Gilchrist (10) her mother Zoe, his son Jeff and his wife Wendy celebrating his 100th birthday at Bethanie Beachside. Picture: Martin Kennealey
William Gilchrist (seated) with great grand daughter Lilly Gilchrist (10) her mother Zoe, his son Jeff and his wife Wendy celebrating his 100th birthday at Bethanie Beachside. Picture: Martin Kennealey

WILLIAM Edward Gilchrist is celebrating his first century today surrounded by family, veterans and fellow freemasons.

The Yanchep resident was born in Narrogin on September 1, 1917 to William and Gertrude and had four siblings.

He married Yvonne on November 28, 1942 and they had three sons during their 68-year marriage – John, Bryce and Jeff .

“He was a wartime bomber pilot, then completed his teaching degree after the war,” Jeff said.

“They had a very poor farm in Narrogin.

“He was obviously a bright student and had to go and work on a farm in Northam to pay his way through UWA.”

Mr Gilchrist became a headmaster, finishing his career in that role at Wanneroo Primary School.

The couple lived at the freemasons village in Dianella until Mrs Gilchrist died, then he moved to Yanchep.

He now has eight grandchildren and four-great-grandchildren.

Many of his friends, RSL veterans and fellow freemasons planned to join Mr Gilchrist’s birthday celebrations at Bethanie Beachside today, with his family joining him for dinner.

He took part in the aged care facility’s ‘Beth-a-lympics’ on Wednesday, where residents from several homes took part in skittles, beanbag toss, hockey and pass ball activities in preparation for the annual LiveLighter Aged Care Games at Arena Joondalup this month.