Growing up in and around Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Ron Brelsford was destined to have a lifelong love of storytelling.
And as he celebrated his 107th birthday at Legana on Monday, he recalled a fateful incident when aged 16 that could have been a key to his longevity.
Working on a farm, the foreman left the workers alone for a while - but had dropped his pipe.
The workers passed it around, including to Ron.
"They said, 'here Ron, have a puff'," he recalled.
"I laid down all afternoon - that was the last of that for me."
Alcohol also left a bitter taste in his mouth, and so he went on to live a life of clean living.
Raised by his aunts and grandmother from an early age, Ron was taught to play various instruments, instilling a love of song.
He joined choirs and went on to play the organ. Ron attributes the necessity of memorising music for his clear memory.
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"Singing all your life is good for your lungs, too," he said.
He married Gladys in 1940 and had three children, while he worked in the coal mines and drove trucks during World War II.
The family came to Sydney in 1970 where they joined a Methodist Church, with Ron singing in the choir. They eventually moved to the Central Coast, NSW.
Ron sang with the Tuggerah Lakes Choral Society until just a few years ago, aged 104.
The following year, he moved to Tasmania to be closer to son David and daughter-in-law Anne, but his social life remained as active as ever.
He enjoys feeding the galahs, cockatoos and sparrows, along with cleaning up on the Scrabble board.
"When we play Scrabble, he usually wins. He comes up with seven-letter words that we're sure aren't words, then we check the dictionary and sure enough, they're words," friend Marianne Reardon said.
Ron enjoyed his 107th birthday with family and friends overlooking the Tamar River at Legana.