Albert ‘Bert’ Matthews
……. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy!”
I spotted Bert on an early morning visit to the local supermarket in the sleepy Riverina town of Lockhart. Fitted out in his set of black braces, pulled together at the bottom with a pin, Bert looked so cute and what a soft-spoken true gentleman, with a cheeky smirk, he was. I was on my way to photograph another older chap a few hours from here, so I had very little time with Bert unfortunately.
In Bert’s view the best years in Australia were back in the day when he was a teenager. There was no power back then and the local kids would all visit the neighbours and play tennis, “we all played-it was nice”. I asked Bert what he couldn’t do without, he pondered the question for a moment and responded with, “I tell you, I COULD do without television”
If Bert could have his time over there are some minor things he would change. Thanks to the Doctors he has had a pacemaker for the last 10 years which has kept him ticking along. Aside from that, Bert credits the secret to living life to it’s fullest is, “having a stubby of light, oh and I think regular meals of plain food, you know-veggies and milk”, apparently that is the key!
I feel so grateful for the interaction I had with Bert, albeit for just a short time. One of the photos taken on the day of our chance meeting has gone on to be honoured with first prize by the Local Shire in a photographic segment. I wish I could have spent more time with Bert, yet I was on-route to meet another wonderful Australian. Should I ever pass down this road again I will be sure to pop in and say hi.
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