A Wangaratta man who celebrated his 100th birthday on the weekend says he's still loving life and making the most of every day.
Ern Williams marked Saturday's milestone with a small celebration in his hometown.
While COVID-19 restrictions tamed festivities, he plans to have a bigger bash when able to do so.
The 100-year-old, who still lives on his own and holds a driver's licence, says he's unsure what the key to his longevity has been.
"If I knew that, I'd make a fortune," he said with a laugh.
"I put it down to blind luck.
"One day seems to follow on into the next day and I'm very fortunate to be here, it's the most wonderful thing."
Mr Williams was the only child of parents Vigar and Alethea and was a champion swimmer in his youth.
He has spent almost all of his life in the North East, but served at various bases around Australia as an air force instructor during World War II.
The role gave him the opportunity to fly different planes and led to a few close calls, including a crash landing.
Despite the horrors of what was happening overseas, he said it was a good time in his life.
Mr Williams had worked as a bank ledger keeper before the war, helped with his father's poultry business post-war, and later started a firearms business.
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He married Jean, the love of his life, in February 1948 and they later had two daughters, Dianne and Jan.
Dianne joked her father was "in a state of shock" after making a century.
"He can't understand how that's happened," she said.
"We had a lunch and there were a whole bunch of photos from throughout his life running on TV, including as a baby, school photos, photos from when he was visiting his grandparents in Melbourne.
"He's amazing for his age.
"He's had a few medical checkups lately and the doctors always say 'see you next year'.
"He's very independent."
Mr Williams continues to shoot at the Wangaratta Clay Target Club each Saturday and has many friends through the organisation.
He has been a lifelong shooter, and his grandson now has the first shotgun he owned as a boy.
The 100-year-old said a lot has changed during his life and he was amazed by the electronic age, which he limited to the television and phone.
"As a youth, the style of living is so totally different to what it is today, it was easy going, there was no mad rush," he said.
He continues to live an easy going life, including reading, watching TV, and completing crosswords, and is looking forward to having a big family celebration for his birthday when it's permitted.
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