Centenarians share secrets to long, happy lives

Nikola Stojanovski

A WORLD War Two veteran who served in the Yugoslavian army, Nikola Stojanovski will celebrate his 100th birthday this Saturday, March 9, with a gathering of friends and family at his Hixson Garden Aged Care Centre in Bankstown.

Lilian ‘Peggy’ Robertson

Living in his Yagoona home until aged 95, Nikola first came to Australia from Macedonia with his wife Radojka, who has since passed away, in 1967 and worked for Morris Automotives in Revesby and a plastics factory.
They had four children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, returning to Macedonia for several years before settling here permanently in 1986.
Granddaughter Natasha said that when Nikola was younger, he loved gardening, looking after his veggie patch, reading the newspaper, his cats and taking the grandchildren to school.
“He and my grandmother felt their main purpose was to help out with the grandkids and ensure we all had fresh veggies from the garden,” Natasha said.
“He was very proud of his veggie patch and grew his own herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, chillies, leak, spring onion and strawberries.
“As he got older, he appreciated conversation, sports, watching game shows on TV and spending time with the family.”
She said he put his longevity down to “not sweating the small stuff”.
“He says he also enjoys his quiet time instead of being afraid by it, appreciating when family come to visit and a little bit of Rakija (fruit brandy) for breakfast,” she added.
“We are all so proud of him – he is definitely our hero.”