‘If you rest, you rust!’

2013-08-05 00:00

“IF you rest, you rust!”

This is Pietermaritzburg veteran and bowls aficianado Chester Mayne’s secret to longevity.

Mayne celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday, proving that his philosophy works. He has led an eventful life and continues to do so every day.

On being 100 years old, Mayne said: “I can do most of the things I did as a younger man, it just takes a little longer now”.

There are three things that Mayne is passionate about: woodwork, playing bowls and his wife Terry.

Born in Cornwall, England, Mayne moved to South Africa at age 14. He attended a trade school in Benoni in Gauteng, where he learnt the trade of woodwork, and eventually settled in Pietermaritzburg at age 40. Now he lives in Rosewood Estate retirement home with his wife Terry.

Although he’s been retired for 36 years, Mayne continues to do woodwork.

“I work in my workshop every day. I made the lettering on the front gate of the home. I make other things too, like numbering for the doors.”

Playing bowls has been a significant part of Mayne’s life and he only retired from the sport two years ago when he was 98. He has won numerous awards in the sport, which he proudly displays in his home and in a treasured photo album of the glory days.

“I started at Scottsville Bowling when they only had 10 members. Back then we cut the grass ourselves so we could play. We grew and grew and eventually had 200 members. Sadly, the club is no longer.”

It was through bowls that Mayne met his second wife, Terry.

“We both loved playing, and got close. We used to play at clubs and then with pensioners. When we decided to live together, Chester said we have to get married and we did,” Terry remembers.

Mayne was 81 and Terry was 70 when they got married.

“Terry is the reason I’ve lived so long. That, and I always have All Bran for breakfast every day,” said Mayne with a smile.

In his lifetime, he has tried to assist people whenever he could, Terry added. “There was a man here who used a motorised scooter because he struggled to walk. Chester told him ‘your legs, use them or lose them!’ Now he uses a walker and his legs have gotten stronger.”

There was much excitement surrounding Mayne’s centenary celebrations. In addition to a party held at the Ascot Bush Lodge yesterday, there will be a big tea party at his retirement home tomorrow.

“We put up a sign-up sheet for the tea and everyone put their name down, lots of people are excited ’cause they’ve never been to a 100th birthday party before. Or they just want free tea and cake!” Terry joked.

• annzra.naidoo@witness.co.za

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