Oatley resident Doug Wickens will be turning 100 on April 30, and still has his sense of humour.
When the Leader asked if we could send a photographer to take his picture he joked, "I'm not sure, because the police are looking for me!"
Doug was born in Bankstown in 1921. He was schooled at Bankstown Central and the Belmore Technical College but his heart was never in his classes: he loved woodwork.
To this day, he still attends the Shire Woodworking Club at Lilli Pilli.
In his member profile from 2004, he wrote: "I hated school, loved sports days, woodwork, metalwork and tech drawing and wished to forget the rest."
He left school in 1935 and obtained a night shift in an engineering shop.
Doug joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1938 and served on Australian ships in the Atlantic and Indian oceans as well as in the convoys to Russia.
This included a draft to a new state-of-the-art destroyer, HMAS Nestor, the ship which is credited with the sinking of the German U-Boat U127.
His ship was bombed in the Mediterranean Sea and sunk - so he was given a new ship.
"I would much rather have gone home to mum," he wrote in his member profile.
In 1944 he was home and into hospital, and was discharged as medically unfit.
Doug married Betty in 1945 and he said it was very hard to settle down as he was "in and out of hospital".
"I don't know how Betty put up with me, but we made it," his profile stated.
They had a son, Colin in 1951, and a daughter, Rhonda born in 1954. Now, the couple has four grand-children.
Doug's hobbies are gardening, stamps, amateur radio and woodturning.
He kept in touch with the navy and was invited back for the launch of new ships over the years.
"Complex pieces of machinery now, the gun ships have gone, ships now have only close range weapons and guided missiles," his profile stated.
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