Century celebration for Cyril

By Heather Fleming

Courtesy of The Ararat Advocate

Long time Ararat resident Cyril Bond turned one hundred last week with a big celebration at  Parkland House Willaura, where he now resides.

Cyril was born in Hampshire, England, and migrated to Australia after the Second World War.

As a young man he joined the British Navy, later serving in World War Two.

“I always liked the sea, and I admired the Navy. It suited me down to a tee,” he said.

Cyril’s late wife, Pamela, who coincidentally shared the surname ‘Bond’, grew up in the village next door and the pair married before being sponsored out to Australia by friends in Ararat “a long time ago”.

The couple were happy in Ararat.

“I’d always had a liking for Australia, and I wasn’t disappointed when I did come. It was lovely living in the country. I really loved the people and the quietness of the Australian countryside,” Syril said.

Although quietly spoken himself, Cyril’s friends had plenty of good words to say about him.

They explained how he had worked at the Prestige factory for a time before moving to Permewan-Wrights where he was awarded ‘Worker of the Year’.

Ironically, he was sacked the following week, along with the other staff, when the business was closed.

Ararat resident John Gladdis came to know Cyril well when they were in the Ararat Ys Men Club together.

While Club has now folded, John said a group of about ten former members still meet regularly for coffee, and Cyril has always been a keen participant.

These same members were present at his one hundredth celebrations and enjoyed the opportunity to recall old times.

“Everyone couldn’t but help like him, and he’s totally respected. He’s been almost like a father figure to me,” he said.

Gerry Hirst said Cyril encouraged him to join the Ys Men, and that their families had become very close over the years.

Gwenda and Morrie Allgood also attended Cyril’s party and were full of praise.

“He’s always just been a nice and approachable person who worked quietly behind the scenes, never big-noting himself,” Mrs Allgood said.

Ann Shalders remembered the Bond’s kind welcome to her when she migrated to Ararat from Scotland.

Cyril was also a keen runner. He made a lot of friends in the sport and continued this passion right into his seventies.

“It was a terrific relaxation and a nice feeling of being free when I was running all those long distances. It didn’t take much to cheer me up,” Cyril said.

His running friends were keen to tell the story of how he once fell flat on his face and lost his teeth in a puddle during a long-distance event.

Despite being in a potentially winning position he refused to keep going till he’d crawled around on all fours and fished them out.

Cyril used to run as far as Maroona sometimes and certainly didn’t let age get in the way.

When people turn one hundred, they’re often asked what has kept them going for so long.

Cyril’s response to this question was to laugh and reply, “Lots of bad living!”

He has certainly done a lot of ‘good living’ during his one hundred years, and his friends in Ararat, and family back in England, were pleased to see him reach such a wonderful milestone.