Life’s dance still a joy for cheeky Ray

Bella Kitchen & Briana FioreSouth Western Times
Ray Matthews celebrates his 100th birthday.
Camera IconRay Matthews celebrates his 100th birthday. Credit: Picture: Bella Kitchen, Bella Kitchen.

To Ray Matthews, turning 100 yesterday was just another day.

But it is hard to imagine, given his impressive life experiences, that it would be anything but extraordinary.

Mr Matthews fought in World War II and has seen 26 prime ministers come and go.

With his cheeky grin and wit to match, Mr Matthews said the advice he offers to all for a long and happy life is “not to drink or smoke”.

If people thought it was hard to get their kids to mow the lawn maybe try Ray Matthews, who despite his age still mows other people’s lawns.

“I was mowing my lawn one day after I finished up working and my next-door neighbour said, ‘you wouldn’t want to do mine would you?’,” he said.

“That was 40 years ago now and from then on I finished up with a lawn-mowing round.”

Ray Matthews has turned 100 and still dances a few nights per week.Picture: Bella Kitchen
Camera IconRay Matthews has turned 100 and still dances a few nights per week.Picture: Bella Kitchen Credit: Picture: Bella Kitchen

Mr Matthews said the birthday milestone and doctor’s orders may entice him to finish up, although he may still sneak in the occasional mow for old time’s sake.

When he is not mowing lawns or entertaining his grandchildren, the South West stalwart can be found waltzing around the dance floor in Harvey.

At 100 years, Ray still dances a few nights a week and always stays until the last dance.

I ballroom dance Saturday nights, Monday nights is square dancing and Thursday nights is also square dancing too,

he said.

“It helps me to feel young.”

He served in World War II in Borneo on Tarakan Island and until this year marched on Anzac Day.

Mr Matthews said he was very blessed in life to have his three daughters, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Reflecting on his 100 years Mr Matthews said he wouldn’t change a thing and his last piece of advice was to never give up on dancing through life.

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