At ninety five years of age David Humphreys, without fanfare or assistance, mounts the five or so steps onto the stage in the Girton Grammar Junior School hall to have his photo taken and to be interviewed.
He is a classical music lover, so perhaps having to master the modern rock genre that defines the Forever Young choir, and attending weekly rehearsals, is helping to keep his mind active and his bones supple.
“Its meeting people that I love about this choir,” David says.
In particular, he has struck up a close friendship with fellow choir member Frank Roberts who picks him up each week and drops him home.
“We are great mates. We have really clicked and it’s a lovely experience to have met a genuine new friend at my age,” he said.
David grew up in Beaufort where his dad was the town medico. He went to live with his grandparents to complete Secondary School at Ballarat College where he enjoyed playing football and being on the rowing team. David is from the generation of Australians where young men went off to war in search of adventure. At just 19 years of age he went to the Middle East where he was in the artillery and fought in the Battle of Crete. He came back briefly to Australia before then heading off to Papua New Guinea.
When he returned to Australia, through the Rehabilitation Training Scheme, he headed off to Melbourne University and studied Agricultural Science and worked in the export meat industry.
He came to Bendigo in 1965, married to Helen and with 3 children, to be the manager of Mayfair Hams.
David says that at his age, he takes every day as it comes. He has lived at home on his own for 18 years with help once per week, still reads avidly, loves the natural history channel on TV and plays Cribbage twice a week with different groups of people.
“Thursday choir practise is a highlight of my week. It’s just a wonderful experience and I have met so many friends.
“Laura, our Choir Director, is a remarkable person. Her enthusiasm and empathy with people and her ability to make everyone laugh is priceless,” David said.