FOOTBALL has been a big part of Gordon Bock’s life.
And on Saturday, the Swifts Creek Football Club honoured the club life member on his 100th birthday.
Wearing a special jumper, with “Bocky” and No. 100 on the back, Gordon was the star at the match against Bruthen.
After Swifts Creek Football and Netball Club president Marijs Last presented Gordon with his jumper, Gordon turned the tables by presenting her with her own life membership.
Marijs also presented Gordon with a premiership medal for his part in the club’s 1938 league title win.
Gordon then did a lap of honour of the ground in a golf cart, escorted by the club’s juniors.
After the seniors surprise win, the players sang the club song around Gordon’s car.
His family gathered at the Tambo Valley Golf Club on Sunday to celebrate Gordon’s birthday.
The father of 11, who was born at Albury’s Olive Street nursing home, grew up at Eskdale, often playing on the mullock heaps from the Mount Elmo goldmine. He later recalled how the sand, treated with cyanide, “had a funny smell”.
A cloudburst caused tonnes of mullock washed down the hill to flatten the family home — no one was home at the time.
Gordon scattered the ashes of his sister, Lena, who died at 98 in 2008, at the site.
He spent time in Melbourne but his heart was in the high country.
In the city, he developed a passion for South Melbourne that carried over to Sydney Swans.
During the Depression, Gordon worked for a hosiery manufacturer in Melbourne before ret- urning to Eskdale to work on the farm of his brother, Harry.
He joined the Eskdale Butter Factory and, in 1935, accepted a job as butter-maker at the Swifts Creek factory.
He went looking for board at the Swifts Creek hotel and met Olive Lucas, 16, who became his bride in 1940.
Football was a big part in Gordon’s life and his memory of an all-in brawl between Swifts Creek and Benambra in 1936 is on the DVD Football Stories from Country Victoria, filmed by Malcolm McKinnon for Arts Victoria and the State Library.
Gordon enlisted in the air force in World War II but was never deployed.
After the war, the butter factory closed and Gordon worked as the Bairnsdale Co-Op’s agent for 14 years, along with his roles as Shell agent and carrier.
He became a farmer in an odd way, borrowing money with a friend to buy 400 wethers for two pounds ($4) a head.
They cashed in when the price of wool boomed with the Korean War in 1950 and the wethers cut 14 pounds worth of wool a head. That paid for his farm.
Olive died in 2000 and his children live across Australia and New Zealand, with many still in East Gippsland.
Gordon moved into aged care at Omeo Hospital in 2012 and became the footy-tipping expert.