Clarence Valley resident Ivan George Garrett will celebrate his 100th birthday on July 7.
Born in Maclean to George and Mary Garrett, Ivan and his siblings Arthur, Harold, Joyce, Audrey and Enid, grew up on the family farm at Mororo.
Together, they worked hard to help their parents manage the property.
Ivan attended Chatsworth Island Primary School and Maclean High School before he began working as a farm labourer on Emil Ebeling’s farm, as well as his uncle Bill Fischer’s property in Mororo.
He later travelled to Sydney and worked in a Phillips radio machine factory.
When he turned 20, Ivan joined the army and commenced his training on December 1, 1941.
Ivan was in the Australian armoured division and served his country for three years, including 10 months spent in Borneo before returning to Mororo in 1946 and assisting his aging parents on the family property.
During this time, he also worked on a banana plantation and at the Harwood Sugar Mill before returning to Sydney and working at the Bunnerong Power Station.
When Ivan came back to Mororo, he worked for Yamba builder George Cromack.
Following George’s retirement, Ivan worked with one of his cousins Bill Fischer and brother Arthur building homes in the local area, including one for their sister Joyce Ebeling in Yamba and niece Sheryl Shankland in Angourie.
In 1962, Ivan married Betty Powell.
Their son John was born in 1963, followed by their daughter Mary in 1964.
A loving father, Ivan often took his family to Woody Head where his parents had a weekend shack.
Sadly, John and Mary passed away in their 40’s.
Ivan also has two grandchildren, Jennifer Proudford Brown and Joseph Proudford Brown.
For his 100th birthday, Ivan has received congratulatory cards from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Governor General of Australia David Hurley.
Ivan lived in Maclean until November 2019 and is currently a resident of Uniting Caroona aged care in Yamba.
He will celebrate his 100th birthday with a small number of family members who are able to visit him, including his niece Sheryl who said her uncle has an incredible memory of all the old times and ways of living on the Clarence River.
On behalf of the Clarence Valley Independent, we would like to wish Ivan a very happy 100th birthday.