WAR-TIME stories and tales about his welcoming nature were all the talk at Neville Davis’ 105th birthday party.
Keith Davis said his father was born in the United Kingdom and had been brought up by his mother after Mr Davis’ father died in World War I.
Mr Davis served in World War II and was a Royal Navy bomb disposal officer in Ceylon as the war ended.
He was badly burned by explosives during this time, but was still required to diffuse a bomb washed up on a beach.
“He was in hospital and bandaged up, but was the only person in the country to know how to diffuse a bomb,” Keith said.
Mr Davis met his Scottish wife Jane, who was in the Women’s Naval Service, in Ceylon.
Keith said his mother had decoded German and then Japanese messages.
They returned to the United Kingdom together, buying and living on a canal barge, as housing was expensive.
The couple immigrated to Australia in 1952 living in Wellington Point, Eight Mile Plains and Highgate Hill before moving into the heritage-listed Seaforth Cottage in Cleveland.
Mr Davis moved from the cottage to live in a flat at his daughter’s house when he was 101 years old.
Mr Davis thanked staff at the aged care facility for their care.
“They’ve kept me alive,” he said.
“It’s a very pleasant surprise to be here with you today.”
Daughter-in-law Ann Davis said she was about 16 years old when she met Mr Davis.
“I couldn’t have had a nicer father-in-law,” she said.
“He was very kind and generous.”
She said her father-in-law recited poetry and wrote poems in Spanish.
“He and Jane sponsored children overseas and volunteered for Meals on Wheels.”
Jocelyn Davis said her grandparents had many friends.
“You never went to visit without them having four or five people visiting,” she said.
Mr Davis has five children, Paul, who lives in Los Angeles, Keith, Eleanor, Guy and Hilary, 22 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The morning tea attended by family and friends was held at Regis Aged Care in Birkdale, where Mr Davis has lived for a couple of years.