TED Pascoe joined the centenarian club last week, celebrating his 100th birthday with family, friends and other residents at Macleay Valley House on Friday, March 11.
Deputy mayor Lou Kesby was among the special guests and read out letters of congratulations to Ted from the Queen, the Governor General Peter Cosgrove, NSW Premier Mike Baird, Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey.
Ted is the first resident at the nursing home to reach the milestone.
Mr Pascoe was born in Lidcombe, Sydney in 1916. He left school at the age of 15 in 1931 and came to the Macleay Valley to learn more about dairy farming.
After four years here, he went back to Sydney where he worked casually in the building industry as well as milking cows in Girraween and Wagga Wagga.
Ted later joined the army and when war broke out in Europe, he volunteered to strengthen the Darwin unit. During that time Australia came under attack when Japanese forces mounted two air raids of Darwin on February 19, 1942.
A few months later Ted was transferred back to Sydney and joined the AIF where he found himself in the 9th division unit which at the time was serving in New Guinea. When he returned to Australia, Ted camped in Queensland until it became time to take further action. This took place with a landing on the Britsh island of Labuan, off the coast of Borneo, followed by action in British North Borneo, now known as Sabah. After the Japanese surrendered, Ted was discharged and returned home.
He married Edna in 1939. The couple had three sons together. In 1952, Ted joined the lighthouse service and served as a lighthouse keeper for 17 years on the NSW coast. He served at South Solitary Island, Smoky Cape, Point Perpendicular, Port Stephens before finishing up at the Cape Byron Lighthouse in 1972.
Ted and Edna relocated to South West Rocks before Edna’s passing in 1982. They were married for 42 years. A few years later, Ted re-married Joan but she also sadly passed away in 1989.
A love of shooting would then lead Ted to meet a woman called Sheila at the Kempsey Rifle Club in 1992 who he later married. They moved into the Macleay Valley House in 2011. Sheila sadly passed away late last year.
Roy Denney and Christine Brockett said their step father was a remarkable man who had lived an adventurous life.
Macleay Valley House’s director of nursing Wilma Sims agreed saying while Ted’s hearing was starting to fail him, his cheeky sense of humour was still present.
“He’s a character. He’s quite cheeky at times and he’s a true gentleman,” she said.
“The first thing he noticed when he moved here was the picture of the Smoky Cape Lighthouse on the wall. He pointed at it and said to me ‘I used to live in that.’ I thought he was joking but we soon learnt he did so it was lovely to hear about his experiences of being a lighthouse keeper.”
Ted was also a keen writer and particularly loved poetry. He wrote a book containing 20 poems called ‘Ted’s Medley’s’ which was published about ten years ago.