Editorial | Secrets to residents’ milestone innings

WHAT exactly is in the Tamworth water?

The city has laid claim to some of the country’s oldest residents over the years. And it’s time we either look at bottling their magical elixir or take a leaf from their books on how we can all live a long, healthy life.

Tamworth was home to the oldest man in Australia, Alf Powell, who passed away on April 30 at the age of 108. 

Over the years, he told The Leader he wasn’t sure what the secret to a long life was – but morning and afternoon naps for the past few years couldn’t hurt. 

Though they’ve got a few years to go yet, two other local residents celebrated some milestone birthdays this week. 

Leopolda Figar may have spent most of her 103 years outside of Tamworth, but she was given a very warm celebration for her birthday at Nazareth House on Friday.

She was born on July 16, 1914, less than two weeks before the start of World War I in what is now known as Slovenia.

Soon, Leopolda won’t be the only 103-year-old at Nazareth House, Tamworth, when another resident celebrates their birthday in October. 

The house is also home to a 100-year-old. 

Also divulging their tips to a long life this week was Alessandro “Leo” Zaid, who migrated from Italy in 1952. 

The well-known and proud gardener celebrated his 90th birthday on Sunday with beloved wife Louise, their two daughters Adriana and Alda, and relatives at the Square Man Inn.

The fiercely independent but doting family man still keeps himself busy gardening and growing his own vegetables in true Italian style. 

Among his tips to a long life were good home-grown food, a good wife to cook it, a glass of vino, a loving family and to exercise as often as you are able.

Maybe it is just a coincidence that Tamworth has so many older residents. If we look at the Census data, Tamworth’s median age was 38 in 2011 and that remained the same in 2016. Just 2.3 per cent of the postcode’s residents were aged 85 or older in the latest bureau snapshot – and that’s slightly up on previous years.

Maybe the answer doesn’t lie in our water after all. So whatever works for you, keep it up. And in the meantime, if our older residents are anything to go by, a good nap and a serve of vegetables and vino won’t go astray.


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