08 Oct 2021 | Feature stories |

Jack's marvellous century

by Dane Heverin

Centenarian Jack Bullen of Warrnambool.
Centenarian Jack Bullen credits golf as one of the key ingredients to a long life.

Warrnambool’s Jack Bullen is celebrating his 100th birthday today and the avid golfer says that the game is one of the key ingredients in his recipe to living a long life.

“A good, simple diet and active life. I played golf and still exercise every day,” Bullen said.

The centenarian has been involved in golf for 80 years across three different clubs in Victoria’s west: Nhill, Point Lonsdale and Warrnambool.

Bullen was born in Nhill on 8 October 1921 and he grew up in the town halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide until he went to war.

During the Second World War, he served in the Australian Imperial Forces in the 9th Division Cavalry. 

He served in the Middle East in Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, which included the El Alemein campaign - an Allied victory that was the beginning of the end of fighting in the deserts of North Africa - and later in the war he also served in Borneo and Labuan.

Bullen remembered his time serving his country for the connection with his fellow soldiers.

“The best thing was the companionship,” he said.

“When you live with people and see them every day for five and half a years, you get to know them pretty well! You get to know their idiosyncrasies, their good points and their failures.

“We had a lot of leave and time to explore when we were in the Middle East which was good. We had some good times as well as the wild stuff.”

After the war, he returned to Nhill where he lived, worked in the family garage business with his brother and played golf. 

In 1984, Bullen and his wife made a seachange and moved to Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula. 

Then in 2001 they moved further west to Warrnambool.

Throughout the various moves Bullen remained involved in Legacy - an organisation that provides support to the families of those who lost their life serving their country - for 65 years and has also been an RSL member since 1945.

Nowadays, he focuses on growing his own vegetables and ensuring he has enough produce for friends, family and neighbours.

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