10 years in the morgue: Stan’s life recipe – active, balanced, caring
14 December 2017
This article was published on 27 October 2007. Stan Jackson died in 2012 aged 98
SYDNEY - My father Stan Jackson OAM is 94 today. He’ll get out of bed at about 8.30, greet his partner Helen, brew a pot of tea, and wander out to the gazebo he built a couple of years ago - overlooking the vegetable garden - to eat his porridge.
The gait is a little stiff now, after two knee replacements, but the posture remains ramrod straight. Later he’ll wheel his bike out of the shed and cycle to the Lane Cove shops to buy a few groceries.
For most of the rest of the day he’ll sit in front of a word processor, two-finger typing the plan for his next project, an organisation called Planet Earth Partners – which he’s financing.
“Its message is simple,” he says. “It’s ‘Be ABC’ – keep active in body and mind, whatever your age; keep in balance with your health and with Nature; and cooperate with the community by supporting it”.
Planet Earth Partners (PEP, get it?) will launch with a bike ride through the mountains of Hokkaido in Japan next year. “I still ride; at 95 I’ll do what I can,” says Stan.
Stan was awarded the Order of Australia in 2000 for “service to the community through the promotion of the concept of ‘fitness for life’ by undertaking marathon bicycle tours, and to environmental conservation”.
He took up long distance bike riding in 1976, after the death of my mother, Joan, and kicked off with a Sydney to London epic, repeated in reverse in 1988 to mark the Australian bicentenary.
He’s ridden the length of Japan, up the Rockies from the Mexican border to the Canadian border and from Melbourne to Sydney with a group of Japanese senior citizens, taking a detour to Canberra from Batemans Bay to talk with some politicians about the declining state of the planet.
Even though he fought against the Japanese with the British Army in Burma in World War II, Stan has a special affection for the Japanese people and their culture and is a regular visitor to Japan, where he lectures on his philosophy – quasi Buddhist in nature – to school kids, media, mayors and whoever he can get a hearing from.
His most recent book, ‘What’s Wrong for Our Young’ was published in English and Japanese two years ago to advise parents, as Stan puts it, “to use the fair-go concept familiar to all children to get them exploring their potential – giving themselves a fair go, giving the community a fair go and giving their Earth Home a fair go.”
Happy birthday dad, and don't slow down just yet.
A fitting message for PNG too!
Stan's story also brings to mind a slogan I heard from the internationally renowned motivational speaker and life coach Les Brown: live fully, die empty!
Posted by: John K Kamasua | 14 December 2017 at 07:10 PM