Wanneroo leap year centenarian celebrates 25th birthday

Wanneroo resident Tom Moore (100) celebrates his 25th birthday today thanks to the Leap Year. Picture: Martin Kennealey d448949
Wanneroo resident Tom Moore (100) celebrates his 25th birthday today thanks to the Leap Year. Picture: Martin Kennealey d448949

WANNEROO resident Tom Moore is celebrating his 25th birthday today, a century after he was born.

The third of John and Gertrude Moore’s 11 children, he was born on February 29, 1916 in Pingelly.

“As the 29th of February only occurs every fourth year, he only has a ‘real’ birthday every fourth year,” daughter Lorraine Wylie said.

“Tom went to school in Marwonga – south west of Pingelly – then worked as a farm labourer in the surrounding areas.

“He enlisted in the RAAF of World War II on June 9, 1941 and became a leading aircraftman.

“When Darwin was bombed on February 19, 1942, he was part of the troops that were sent in to defend that area.

“He met his wife, Hazel, in Melbourne, while on leave during the war and was married on August 1, 1942.”

Mrs Wylie said her parents settled in Mt Barker after the war, where they had two daughters – herself and Maureen.

“He worked at the local garage in Mt Barker for many years, then purchased a war settlement farm in Denbarker in 1960,” she said.

“The family moved to Albany in 1965 and in 1977 Tom and Hazel moved to Heathridge.

“They became active members of the Uniting Church in Beldon, of which Tom still attends and they joined the local Heathridge Red Cross where they volunteered for many years.

“After moving to Ocean Reef, then Sorrento, they moved into the Belgrade Retirement Village in Belgrade Road, Wanneroo in 2002.

“About that time Tom joined the Probus Club of Wanneroo, and is still a member, where they gave him a birthday party at the February meeting.”

His wife died in January 2010 and Tom still lives in the independent living area of Belgrade Village.

“He has some domestic help three mornings a week, but cooks and looks after himself the rest of the time,” his daughter said.

“He has four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren – three of those grandchildren are triplets, who will be turning 21 on March 30 this year.”

The family held a party in Albany yesterday, and Tom will have another celebration in Perth with family and friends on March 6.

Two of his brothers and two of his sisters were also still alive, in their late 80s and 90s.