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24 July, 2021

For hes a jolly good centenarian

TALK to anyone about Henry Kingston and they’ll tell you about two things: His laugh and his big personality! And when you meet him, you can see they are spot on! Henry turned 100 at the weekend and thanks to family and friends from throughout the state – and even a few from interstate – he had a ball!

By Meredith Papas

TALK to anyone about Henry Kingston and they’ll tell you about two things: His laugh and his big personality! And when you meet him, you can see they are spot on! Henry turned 100 at the weekend and thanks to family and friends from throughout the state – and even a few from interstate – he had a ball! “Well, yeah, I guess it is a bit of a milestone I have reached,” he said.

 “When we pulled up in the car (arriving at his surprise birthday lunch at Mackay Marina on Sunday) I thought, ‘who are all these people? I think I’ll go home!”.

 “What a lovely surprise though.” Thankfully, Henry stayed the distance at his party – which was the second in his honour, after another surprise gathering at his home at Cascade Gardens. During the celebrations, Mayor Greg Williamson paid tribute to Henry, reading tributes from Mackay Regional Council, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Governor General David Hurley and Queen Elizabeth.

 The latter attracted some banter from the crowd, in light of the recent passing of Prince Phillip. “You might be in with a chance there, Henry,” came a call from a younger member of the crowd. The comment was met with a nod, a knowing wink and a smile. And his secret? Well, if laughter is the best medicine, Henry must be living proof! 

100 YEARS AND COUNTING 

The following is a tribute to a much loved dad, by Henry’s daughter Debra.Henry was Born in Yeppoon on July 18,1921. He was the fifth child of Joseph and Euphemia Kingston. At the time he had three brothers, Charles, Russel and Donald, and one sister, Jean. After Henry was born, Joseph and Euphemia had two more children, Joseph and Joan, who lives at Tweed Heads. Henry’s Grandfather was CJ Kingston.

 CJ’s brother John William Kingston and his wife Matilda Maria Kingston were the “first settlers and founders” of the town of Aramac, Queensland. The Kingston’s “Workers Store” was established in Aracmac in 1883 by Henrys Grandfather and Henry’s Dad Joseph worked at the store as a storekeeper in his early years. 

SCHOOL AND CAREER 

Henry attended the Aramac state school and passed his scholarship in 1936. He then worked on several stations around the district, before joining the Queensland railway at Alpha in 1940 as an engine cleaner. He studied hard and progressed through the ranks over the years to fireman in 1949. Henry was was transferred to Ipswich in 1955. In 1968 he obtained a position as a railway Inspector and travelled throughout the Queensland depots as Inspector. He retired in 1985 after 46 years of service in the Queensland railway. In 2000 the family moved to Mackay where Henry still lives. 

  SPORTS

Henry has been a keen all-round sportsman over the years. While he was in Alpha during his forties, he represented that town in cricket, tennis and football. His sporting interests have continued all through the years and he was appointed as an official Umpire for the Davis Cup Match, Australia versus India. Over the years, he took up lawn bowls and won many titles over the years.   

  FAMILY 

In 1953 Henry met and fell in love with Yvonne (Dawn) Ryall of Townsville, who was working in Longreach at the same time he was there. Dawn and Henry were married in Townsville in 1956 and returned to Ipswich to make their home together. In 1958 their one and only daughter Debra was born in 1985. Henry has one granddaughter, Sarah and two great grandchildren.  


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