Most people hope to age gracefully and stay active well into their golden years. However, very few people get to live to be centenarians, and even fewer live to be supercentenarians.
Having turned 110 years old on Thursday, Ken Weeks is believed to be Australia’s oldest man, and is still as active as ever. Born on October 5th, 1913, Ken has lived through two world wars, two global pandemics, and two global financial crises. He’s seen the founding of the United Nations, the start and end of the Space Race, the invention of television, and the rise of the internet all in his life time as well.
Ken grew up as one of five children on a farm in Carrs Creek. Over the course of his very long life, Ken has done everything from construction to sales to running a fish and chips shop.
Ken has witnessed and experienced a lot of change. But there is one thing that has remained fairly constant in his life and that’s his love for baked beans. Ken has devoured them enthusiastically throughout his life and has eaten a can a day for breakfast for the past 30 years.
Ken currently resides at Whiddon Aged Care Home in Grafton. For his 110th birthday, the staff decided to plan a surprise for him. They reached out to the Heinz company and told them of Ken’s devotion to one of their mainstay products.
Heinz were kind enough to honour Ken’s dedication with a special run of baked bean cans featuring his name and face on the labels. Ken celebrated his 110th birthday alongside his family members at Whiddon, with beans featuring heavily in the catering.
People from all corners of the country flocked to social media to extend heartfelt birthday wishes and join in the celebration of Ken’s remarkable milestone.
“Happy birthday to Ken. That’s an amazing milestone,” one person wrote.
“Happy Birthday, Ken. You look fabulous.”
“Happiest of Birthdays! I can remember seeing you on your daily walks many years ago.”
“Well done champion,” another commented.
Messages of celebration reached far and wide, with even members of royalty marking the special occasion.
Not only did Ken receive a letter from the late Queen Elizabeth for his 100th birthday but also a second from King Charles when he reached 110. It’s not often that someone receives a letter from two Monarchs in their lifetime.
Despite his advanced age, Ken is as mobile as ever and still walks unaided. He credits his lifelong love of walking as part of the reason he is still in good health.
“Oh yes, I’ve always been active,” he told the ABC.
“All his places had stairs, so he always used to climb two steps at a time and he’s always been so active,” confirmed his grandson, Jason.
Ken’s son Ian also said that his father was dedicated to clean living.
“No drinking or smoking, and just a fairly plain food,” he said.