Hay there: Reg Henman’s birthday party for his century had a farming theme, reflecting his life on the land. Photo: CHIPPY RIVERA

100 years young for farming footballer

February 28, 2020 BY

FAMILY, friends, well-wishers and dignities gathered at the Cooinda Centre in Wendouree on Saturday to celebrate Reg Henman’s 100 years of living life to its fullest.

With the farming theme for the event reflecting his significant life on the land, a spry and active Mr Henman greeted guests and moved around the room.

With all the people there to wish him well, Mr Henman said the turn out made him feel, “More than wonderful.”

“I’ve lived a good honest life and of my mother’s and father’s families I’m the first one to hit 100,” he said. “My great-grandmother on my mother’s side was 99 years and 11 months, I’ve just beat her.

“I’ve had a really wonderful life.”

Mr Henman was born in Yaapeet before his parents settled in the Kaniva district farming wheat, sheep and cattle at Sandsmere. In 1986 he moved to Ballarat.

“We sold the farm and I retired here to be closer to the families, and I’ve never been sorry since,” he said.

He’s a Bowls Victoria Super-Veteran and was an active member of Webbcona Bowls Club for 26 years. While he’s off the greens now, he still plays carpet bowls.

World War Two saw Mr Henman give four-and-a-half years’ service to the nation.

“Fortunately, I didn’t see action but I was out in the Indian Ocean for about four or five days and that wasn’t very nice, but we got out of it all right,” he said.

While in the Army he got a chance to indulge another of his passions, football.

“When we’re in Sydney they wanted to form a football team,” he said. “There was 76 men lined up and I managed to get in the first 18 and kept my place.”

Mr Henman was a talented rover and came close to winning the Boarder Town league best and fairest medal.

“I was runner up for the association medal,” he said. “The umpire came to me after a game and said, ‘What’s the idea of giving me cheek, Henman?’. I didn’t give him cheek, I complimented him on his action.

“He said, ‘I’ve given you two points and the other chap three.’ Well, in the count we were both tied, and he beat me by one point.

“Four-and-a-half years later I married his sister.”

Mr Henman has four children, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, many of whom were on hand to celebrate his milestone.