Party's not over at 105

Born in 1909 in Glasgow, William "Bill" Witt is probably the oldest person in Holroyd.

Tomorrow, the Greystanes resident will celebrate his 105 years with friends and a beer at Wentworthville Leagues Club, of which he's been a member for more than 40 years.

Still up for a laugh, Mr Witt cracks many jokes during our interview before planting a kiss on my hand. "Did it break?" he asked of our photographer's lens after his picture was taken.

Asked about historic events witnessed since his arrival in Australia in 1911, Mr Witt counted the 1932 opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Depression of 1929-32 and the bombing of Darwin as notable moments.

He recalled the day he lost his job as an apprentice linotype operator at the old Government Printing Office when Depression hit, and the effort it took to find a new one.

"They'd get the shock of their lives if they had a Depression today like we had in our time. It was a big thing," Mr Witt said.

During World War II, he served with the RAAF and saw the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese.

"I can't remember it much, I know it was a bloody big headache," he said.

After the war, he married and settled in Parramatta and worked for Riverstone Meats and the Parramatta RSL. In 1960, the family moved to what is now Greystanes.

Longtime neighbour Norm Beard, 73, described Mr Witt as a "happy, jovial fellow" who would do anything for you: "Typical Scotsman," Mr Beard joked. "Doesn't like to spend a dollar but would give you the shirt off his back."

Wentworthville Leagues CEO Mark Sheridan described Mr Witt a a regular and friendly face at the Smith St club.

"He loved his bowls and developed some great, lifelong friendships through the men's bowling club," Mr Sheridan said.

Yesterday, Holroyd Community Food Services, which operates Meals on Wheels and of which Mr Witt is a client, held a celebratory lunch.

The celebration preceded his actual birthday, which falls on April 21.

Asked what advice he had for the young, Mr Witt said the thing to remember about life was to enjoy it. "That's the main thing. Make your own party and have a very, very good time," he said.

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