Centenarians share their secrets to longevity

TURNING 100 on December 29, Peter Facchin said he had the best birthday ever – enjoying afternoon tea, a cake and surrounded by friends at Lakemba Club’s bingo group.

A regular player and member of most clubs in Canterbury Bankstown, Mr Facchin – who still drives – says he gets out two or three times a week to play bingo or even watch a game of bowls.
Remarkably, the Greenacre resident lives at home independently with a bit of help cleaning and gardening but prefers to do his own cooking and is certainly testament to the benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet and his early Italian upbringing.
“I cook mostly pasta, lots of vegetables, love my minestrone soup and try to eat a bit of everything,” he said.
Born near Venice, he lost his Dad when he was three-months-old and Mum at 15 and with no family left, after a few years decided to seek his fortunes in Australia in 1949 aged 26.
“It was tough when I arrived as I couldn’t speak a word of English but had picked it up quite well after six months,” he said without the slightest hint of an accent.
Living in Greenacre since 1970, he married Australian woman Bernice and they had a daughter Nicole.
Dabbling in many fields, he’s worked as a concreter, dry cleaner, bus driver for 27 years years and in administration with the Department of Transport for 10 years.
Happy that his health is good with all of his senses intact, Mr Facchin says he didn’t expect to live so long but was grateful, putting his longevity down to not drinking or smoking.
“I’ve got good friends too – that really helps,” he added.