Jack Bird has never lost his sense of humour.
A great mate of Tasmanian war hero Teddy Sheean VC, Mr Bird celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday.
Asked how it felt to reach 100, the former cricketer pointed out that it wasn't his first time reaching the milestone.
"I've made about five," he said.
"I used to raise the bat."
Originally from Pipers Brook in Tasmania's North-East, Bird was 17 when he enlisted for the Royal Australian Navy.
He and Sheean met at the HMAS Derwent naval base and became great friends.
Training together in Victoria, the pair attained ranks of able seaman and ordinary seaman respectively and were both drafted to the HMAS Armidale.
But while Sheean was ultimately among the 100 who were shot down by Japanese aircraft, Mr Bird was having his entire top set of teeth pulled out on the Navy's request.
Sheean would have turned 100 in December if he were still alive.
"We had great times together," Mr Bird said.
"I didn't want him to go.
"But he said 'I'm not going to do the thing you had to do [have teeth pulled], so I'm sticking'. I never saw him again."
Mr Bird served on the HMAS Manoora and HMAS Westralia.
In 1945 he was granted six weeks' leave, and had his honeymoon with wife Joy at his parents' home in Pipers Brook.
He had been expecting to return to the Manoora for the invasion of Japan, so when news broke that the war was over, he celebrated by wildly running around the house.
"That was the funniest day of my life," Mr Bird said.
"My father kicked the door in and said 'it's over, it's over'.
"I'm equipped for a honeymoon [had nothing on] and I jumped straight into action.
"My mother was walking behind with a towel trying to wrap it around me.
"We had a happy day that day."
Mr Bird spent most of his adult life in Victoria.
He worked as a monumental letter writer, served his brother-in-law's drainage contractor business, and later became a real estate agent.
When his wife Joy died in 2008, he returned to Tasmania to help look after his sister-in-law.
"I'm a great family man - if there's someone that comes past me and they want family I'll grab them by the neck," he said.
"But a lot of people don't see it that way."
Mr Bird's son Hugh was among the family and friends who attended Wednesday's celebrations at Regis Norwood.
"It's not every day someone turns 100 and my Dad's done it - it's brilliant," he said.
"I'm 71 and I've still got my Dad, it's fantastic."
Mr Bird was also honoured by visits from Sheean's nephew Garry Ivory, two Royal Australian Navy representatives, and Veterans Affairs Minister Guy Barnett.
"We're very proud of him and his contribution to Australia," Mr Barnett said.
"He served with the Royal Australian Navy throughout WWII, and trained and was a good mate of Teddy Sheean VC."