TAMWORTH man, Jack Peattie turns 100 today, marking a century of commitment, love and devotion to the local schools, environment and community.
As an educator, veteran, sportsman, photographer, and environmentalist there's likely to be more than 100 reasons to celebrate for an admired man, described as someone who "brings out the best" in people with a commitment to serving the community.
Born in Tamworth, Mr Peattie excelled as a keen sportsman at Tamworth High School and hoped to garner his love for nature and the environment into a career as a veterinarian.
But committed to helping others, Mr Peattie jumped at the chance to fight in New Guinea when World War II intervened.
Mr Peattie said the friendships he made and the opening of his mind to different ways of viewing the world was most memorable.
Returning from the war Mr Peattie married the love of his life Marj and devoted his time to passing on his love for nature and the environment to students at East, West and South Tamworth primary schools where he was regarded as a fair and compassionate teacher.
Together with Marj, Jack started Tamworth's Bird Society and the first National Parks group in the area.
It's this love of nature, bushwalking and being outdoors that Jack considers the secret to living a long life, that, and "doing [his] own thing rather than what [he's] told."
Despite his commitment to education and the community, Mr Peattie said his fondest memory was the birth of his children, Ian and Suzanne, who also brought him two grandchildren and one great grandchild.
While it was hard to pinpoint one thing Suzanne, said it was a privilege to have a father full of curiosity and compassion for both people and nature.
"He showed by example that we should be interested in and learn from those of different backgrounds," she said.
When asked what 100 years had taught him, Mr Peattie said a "not to worry" attitude was key to living a full and happy life.
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