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    Robyn and Des Lardner, of Horsham, celebrate Des’ father, Walter, centre.

Extended family celebration for Walter Lardner's 100th birthday

Walter Lardner has celebrated his 100th birthday. 

Mr Lardner was born on July 26, 1922 – the son of Walter Lardner and Clara Lardner, nee Streeter, of Carnegie, Victoria. 

He had a younger brother Donald Albert, who predeceased him. However, Don’s wife Lois Lardner and their surviving children Vivian, Richard and Rosalind visited him from Queensland and Canberra for his 100th birthday.

Merne and Walter were married at St Johns, Malvern, on April 27, 1946 with Merne wearing a wedding gown she and her employer Lucy Secor of Melbourne designed and made.

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Walter had joined the army in 1940 aged 19. He suffered numerous injuries during active service, from which death was predicted, but his stoic constitution kept him going.

Walter then commenced as an insurance underwriter in Bourke Street, Melbourne, continuing there for 31 years.

Then followed children Cheryl, Desmond, Marilyn, Stephen and after a 15-year gap, Simon. 

They built a home at Boronia where they were active parishioners of St Paul’s Anglican Church. As a trained lay minister, Walter also took church services. 

As the family expanded, Walter built a 40 percent extension on their home, in an era before electric saws and pre-cut timber studs. 

He purchased a book on building before commencing, and only built on weekends, but finished the project with more bedrooms, a rumpus room, laundry and an inside bathroom.

The family had wonderful holidays camping annually at Dromana, then McCrae with no hot water at the toilet blocks in those days. 

Times at Natte Yallock with cousins on their farm out rabbiting and fishing led him to thinking about a farm life. Many of those cousins all met for the birthday celebration. Walter worked in insurance of boats and marine cargo, taking an early retirement in 1976. In that year he moved to St Arnaud to their dream farm with Simon and Merne. 

Walter bought a book on farming and soon began a new career in the country and grew award-winning wool and quality fat lambs. 

Merne had a productive vegetable garden, and periodically had turkeys and pigs. 

Merne continued to do her knitting, crocheting, embroidery and hand spinning from home-grown fleece. Many of her garments were knitted for Walter, Simon and their continuing growing number of five children, nine grandchildren and now seven great grand-children.

Seventy guests and family travelling from places including Canada, New Zealand, Queensland and Canberra celebrated with lunch at Craig’s Hotel in Ballarat, a family lunch on his birthday with celebrations to conclude at a church service at St Arnaud Anglican Church on Sunday, followed by morning tea.

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!