Lessons from the Longevity lab - Our Blog

Our longevity journey - The Longevity lab

Part of our longevity journey involves interviewing amazing people across the globe over 90 who are living well, mentally and physically. I met with the incredible 97 year old Jack Le Cras OAM living right here in Perth to find out some of his stories and secrets! There are most certainly more than a few. He was just 19 when he witnessed the signing of the document that ended WW2 and has been called an ‘RSL Living Treasure’, still instrumental in organising Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day services. The consummate organiser, he had Olympian moments in logistics, a distinguished career of over 45 years with the ABC, had the foresight to establish a music festival in Victoria in a disused mansion to raise literally ‘buckets’ of cash for the local Lions club in 1978. 

During Covid when many people were bored, Jack was busy building display cabinets for the RSL in his shed. He also overcame his self proclaimed lack of gardening ability to establish 350 potted succulents to then expand to 5000 together with his daughter to raise money for his beloved Lions club. 

Jack’s one true love Cath who he was married to for 69 years and 50 weeks, passed away 7 years ago. His face lights up when he tells me of how they met and how he found any excuse he could to visit her desk at the telegram phonogram office. He still reaches for her hand when he goes for his daily walks and is saddened when he asks a question and she’s not there to answer it.

Jack regularly enjoys their traditional early evening glass of red wine, has a great relationship with his family and many friends. He has had the same GP for many years, such a strong bond that when his wife was advised in hospital to stop drinking their daily glass upon returning home, he promptly called the hospital and asked for the nurse to be told off for imparting incorrect advice! Jack never smoked, was ‘not one for exercise – I don’t swim, run, ride bikes or horses, I use my car like it’s a bicycle and even drive to the shops’.

Jack eats a healthy diet of mostly salad for lunch and cooks meat and vegetables for dinner. 

When I visited his home he had prepared roast lamb and vegetables as he was catering for the evening’s Lion’s club meeting. He told me he doesn’t eat much sugar,  but then laughed as he admits he is partial to Tim Tams. One thing he does is get out of the house every day, even when he doesn’t feel like it. He will go to the local shopping centre and walk around, making eye contact and talking to and connecting with other human beings. It’s this wonderful sense of connection, community, purpose and willingness to serve others that stands out as being a big part of Jack’s longevity journey.

That and his sage advice to “keep your brain going and everything else will follow’.

Jack has an incredible intellect, recounting dates and names and events in precise detail spanning across his life.

Jack is aiming to celebrate his 100th birthday, one reason is so that he can fulfil a request from his great grandson Tom who has asked him to take him to the pub on his 18th birthday soon after!

Thank you Jack – I look forward to writing more of your story for ‘Lessons from The Longevity Lab’. Melissa 🙂