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(generated from captions) the heavy weight... WOMAN: I throw the hammer, ..the discus, the javelin, and the shot putt. when I joined the Masters. And I was 74 a cattleman. MAN: I was first and foremost by breeding and raising cattle. I made my living when I wrote my first book. I was 86 important thing in my life. My writing now is the most having my singing lessons. I was 89 when I first started really how it happened, I don't know I could do better. but I just had that feeling (Laughs) Ridiculous. (People chatter) These remarkable Australians NARRATOR: most exclusive clubs, have joined one of the world's they have defied the odds. whose membership means to fulfil their dreams? But can they go the distance # Happy birthday to you # Happy birthday, dear Ruth # Happy birthday to you. # Hooray! Hip-hip! Thank you. Thank you all very much.

what all the fuss is about I really honestly don't know 'cause I just grew to be 100. With this birthday some of us only dream about. Ruth Frith has crossed a line Ladies, welcome to the 100+ Club. We're so glad you could make it. Beautiful, isn't it? It's lovely to be here. the 100+ Club We believe, actually, in the world today. is the only club of its type It's the only club that's for the centenarians. just purely a social club plenty of money. You don't have to have That's all. You just gotta be 100. is run entirely by volunteers. This exclusive club in Brisbane And membership is booming. the fastest-growing demographic Centenarians would have to be actually, in the world - today. in Australia - had the Queen Mother. We have previously in getting the Queen Mother. We were quite unique accepted membership of two clubs. The Queen Mother has only ever One was Royal Ascot, horseracing. was the 100+ Club. And the other one we have Dame Elizabeth Murdoch. Currently, with a lady in the UK. We also Twitter to three lavish functions a year. Members can look forward to dress up and step out. For some, it's a rare chance I'm having a day out. Yes. Very pleased. of getting drunk. But I have no intentions I need to know where I'm going. 'Cause, you see, Oh. functions, they get dolled up. You look at them at these they get their finest on. They get their best on, dressed up for the occasion. And I see you're all Ah, well. You have a lovely suit on. I got married in it. 58 years. How long ago was that? (Laughs) Fifty... to get into this club, you know. I've waited a long time What do they get out of it? Meeting someone their own age. It gets people together talking. And talking is a great thing. they don't get a lot of. Something to an old person. Nobody wants to talk And to an elderly person, greatest things you could give, to talk to someone is one of the is the right to talk. keep its members talking, Not only does the 100+ Club it also gives someone to showcase their talents. the opportunity It's given me a whole new life. A chance to sing, act, whatever. three of the club's members This film follows to chase their dreams as they continue

of their lives. in the second century in the whole world At the moment I'm the only 100 that is doing athletics. for her next big competition. Ruth Frith is deep in training she lifts weights every day. To prepare, Ruth's coach is a dual Olympian, her 71-year-old daughter, Helen. Both hands up, nice long arms. Yeah. Right? sit on your bar stool. And don't forget, when you start, I thought I was. I'll get down lower. You can get a little bit deeper. Yeah. Let it take you. Yep. Don't lean forward to it. That's good... Out the back. I'm going out that way. Out the back. That's a foul. front of the circle out. Sorry. You stepped from the The problem for Ruth is she can't see beyond one metre. going to hold her back. Not that her eyesight's her implements land. She can't see So she never knows what she does. Or they call out the distance. Till she asks somebody. Ruth took up athletics in 1983. she sat on the sideline Up until then minding everyone's bags. WOMAN: So when we'd go anywhere just drop the bags around her. we'd always come and look after everything. (Laughs) And we just expected her to 'Well, I've had this. So, I thought, I'm going to be an athlete can mind the bag. and someone else every time she throws, She wants to break records even in training. unless she does. She's not satisfied with herself. She gets very disgusted but I am disappointed. I don't get mad, what I can do, If I do well down below I go out and train more. I might do 13 hammers. Instead of doing 10 hammers, competitor aged over 100 Last year, as the only at the World Masters Games, in each of her events. Ruth set world records to break them This year she's determined Athletics Championships in Perth. at the Australian Masters We've got to move away! 'Cause the rent, we couldn't pay. # Off went the cart # With me 'ome packed in it... # When she was 101, and starred in a full-length play. Olive Webber directed On the eve of her 100th birthday in Brisbane City Council's she came second Senior Superstar competition. a highlight of my life, Oh, that was really singing at the City Hall. And then two nights I sang at Southbank! And you'd be surprised at the ovation I got there. (Applause, cheering) And as we walked away, people wanted to shake my hand or give me a hug, 'cause they thought I was good. (Laughs) I've never been so honoured. I think Olive could have performed anywhere, and really been a professional in any sort of theatre group, or, for that matter, maybe even in TV. I think I could have been good enough to become a professional. I would like to have had a chance. And I never gave it to myself. I was busy with children. She thinks that everybody needs a little project in their life. It doesn't matter whether it's a short one or a long one. If you're well, you've got to do something with your life. You can't waste your life. And it is necessary to have a project, something to work on. Once I get something like that, that I can get my teeth into, it makes you feel better. Olives next big project... Bravo! ..another full-length play she hopes to stage, before her 103rd birthday. MAN: If my wife had lived longer, I would probably not have started writing. Because living by myself, and I have nobody to talk to of an evening. The evenings are long, and so I have plenty of time to write. For more than 65 years Dexter Kruger worked as a cattleman in south-west Queensland. 15 years ago he took up writing. And his stories are about everything from country life to his personal adventures. So far he's written four books with another on the way. They're very worth reading. And I... I think you should buy one. He'll hit anybody up to buy these books. Even Queensland Premier Anna Bligh didn't escape Dexter's sales pitch when she hosted one of the club's yearly functions. Boarding a plane for only the second time in his life, Dexter flew there to meet her and flog his latest book. She comes around, wonderfully, of course, to meet and greet, and she's talking to these wonderful old people. She gets to Dexter... (Laughs) ..and gets the marketing spiel. Gotta take every opportunity. If you've got something to sell, you've gotta make it known that it's for sale. The book I'm writing now is going to be called After 100. It's about 22 items, anecdotal stories. There are stories there of cattle duffing, there are stories of being thrown from horses, of people being shot. I wrote a foreword before I started this that I will never write the last chapter in this book. I'm quite sure that it will be my last book. Ruth and Helen are on their way to Perth, to compete at the Australian Masters Athletics Championships. RUTH: I know I can do it. I know I can do it. I know I can do it. But I think with all that I think deep down in yourself you have to believe in yourself. It's bad enough being 100 without making me 1,000. As the only competing 100-year-old athlete in the world, she's up against some very tough competition. She's got to beat herself to do any good. And that's the hardest part. Since I was in the 90s I've never had another competitor. So I had to go back and see what the 85s do and try and beat whatever they do. So that is the competition. I have to find a way to make myself throw better. The next oldest competitor at this meet is 82. Day one - Ruth performs in the individual hammer and shot putt events. MAN: Good girl! But no world records are broken today. Next day Ruth's a no-show for the individual discus and javelin events. She's suffering from cramps. Doubts are creeping in as to whether Ruth will even be able to finish the competition, let alone break another world record. Dexter says his fifth book is coming along nicely. But the writing process has its challenges. I can't see anything distinctly. I can see a shape. And seeing that I can't write any notes, I have to have it all in my head ready. Perhaps that would take two weeks. Then when I would make two hours clear, I would shut the door and turn the lock, as I wouldn't be interrupted. And then I write furiously. Usually, I'm so cramped when I'm finished with my two hours that I can hardly stand up. And seeing that I can't see the point of my pen, the writing is not very clear. And so I have a friend named Bob, and of a Saturday evening I go to his place and we decipher it and he puts it onto the computer. It can be undecipherable. It's a decoding operation. 'John...' Sat back in the seat, made himself comfortable and rolled a cigarette. That's not what's here. 'John something... ..the bus.' How big of a word? Oh, it's about six letters. 'John... something the bus... ..something... ..and then he rolled a smoke.' Did he park the bus? Outside? 'John parked the bus...' Outside. '..outside.' It's quite easy. (Laughs) The banter that goes on between us can be hilarious. I had my ear phones repaired the other day. They're so good I can hear now without them. (Laughs) But for all the laughs, a worrying cloud hangs over the unlikely mates. Bob's a teacher, and he and his wife may transfer to be closer to their family. For Dexter, time is of the essence, in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Olive's plans for her next play have also suffered a major setback. This year I haven't been well. I had problems with my tummy. I was feeling sick continually. I was X-rayed, and they found that I had bowel cancer. MAN: She kept this to herself for a week too long, which meant that it was touch and go whether they got the cancer out in time. They thought she was too old to operate on. The GP said, 'No, she's got a body of a woman of 80.' And within two weeks I was operated on and coming home again well. In addition to her doctor's treatment, Ken has been treating Olive with alternative therapy. I actually have to put more on it, 'cause we haven't got enough on that yet. I wanted a sandwich. In a minute! Don't be impatient. Do you know, without Ken I'd be just a little old lady. More likely, I wouldn't be alive anymore. Olive met Ken when she was 94. She'd been a widow for 19 years and Ken had never married. It was music that brought them together. You've got to have somebody, somebody who still loves you. That's what's necessary. Love is necessary. I mean, I have been so lucky meeting Ken, and we fell in love. If you forget words, you'll definitely be able to hear my prompt. We help one another now. We support one another. OK? She said, 'Our performing days might be over.' And then I said to her, 'Olive, you're gonna recover and I know they're not over.' I didn't think I could do another play. But I think I could do a sketch, a ten-minute play, which wouldn't be too much of a worry. So I'm gonna have another go. Day three of the Masters Championships. After her no-show at the individual discus and javelin events, Ruth is a firm starter for the weight pentathlon. She was saving herself for the weight pentathlon, which was her event. She loves the weight pentathlon. Go, Mum! Come on! Come on, Mum! With three throws in each of the five events, the weight pentathlon is a big day on the field. For anyone. Come on, Mum! Come on! Again, Ruth doesn't beat her personal best. She hits the physio in preparation for the final day of the comp. It's her last chance to set a new world record. Again. You've gotta get the words exactly right. You made two little errors. Olive's on the comeback trail. for the next 100+ Club event. Do you think people would really notice? Yes, people do notice. People who are in the music industry who know this song backwards will notice immediately. Now, remember, Olive, that the opening line of the refrain is, 'I haven't said thanks for that lovely weekend.' 'I haven't said...' That's it. (Doorbell rings) Alan! Come in! Olive's also busy practising a ten-minute skit with her good friend Alan. S'pose you wouldn't marry again? Well... (Laughs) I did. I married Malcolm. But he's gone. He's gone. I get fed up with men. (Laughs) Olive, you can't put those bits in. (Laughs) Because it doesn't work the lines. Well, this could be Olive's last performance. And I feel very honoured that she had asked me to join her in it. But I must also say that Olive's been saying it's gonna be her last performance for the last four or five years! So, she's made more comebacks than Melba! (Laughs) Dexter's received some good news. But he's still under pressure to finish his book. (Laughs) Bob is going to stay another year. And the way I'm feeling now I should be able to stay the distance. The main thing that keeps me in Roma at this point is Dexter. Our older Australians, and I'm fast becoming one of them, are an invaluable resource. We're just letting them go. 'Oh, he's old. Oh, she's old.' The wisdom, the knowledge, the resource that they are, is dreadfully wasted. I am almost finished my current book. I have done almost all the writing, but there's five or six stories we are behind with our printing. And I hope to get it finished and bound up ready for sale by the end of the year. And I'm champing at the bit. My time is running out. We just don't know how long he'll be with us. And I don't want to miss any of it. Ruth's just made her final throw at the Australian Masters. She hasn't broken any new records, but as the only competitor in her age group, she's cleaned up. She has got some more in her. But how much more, I don't know. Medal presentation for weight throw, Ladies 100... Congratulations. Well done. ..Ruth Frith. Well done. I do believe that when you're born every person is given a gift. And it's your choice then afterwards to use it or not. Well, I think I was given a gift to love athletics. Marvellous. Look at this. Trophies galore. Well done. (Laughs) I hate to say it, but if Mum didn't have athletics, she'd be in a box. She's already setting aims. She wants to go to Canberra in October. She wants to be in Brisbane for the next Australian. She's always promised Torino committee that she'll be in Italy in four years time. You know, like... Heaven help me. I'm afraid Malcolm has gone too. He's also died. What, Malcolm died?! Surely not of strawberry poisoning too! No. He didn't die of strawberry poisoning. He died of a gunshot wound. (Laughter) A gunshot wound?! Yes! He wouldn't eat the bloody strawberries! (Laughter, applause) OLIVE: This time they all thought I was finished. But I thought of a play where I didn't have to walk much. And that gave me the answer. So will Olive perform again? Well, if I keep well, I imagine I will. Because it'll be in me to have a go. There it is. The last hurrah, the last full stop. It's in. You've done it. Now what? Although I have made statements, cross my heart and hope to die, that I won't write anymore, I have already got four stories for the next book. (Laughs) As long as Dexter's still with us, there'll be more stories. I think he knows that stopping is a bad thing to do. So, um... ..I'll see you next Saturday. I believe we will. There are plenty of remarkable people like Dexter, Olive and Ruth in the 100+ Club. We know they're extraordinary. But they insist they're just ordinary. (Laughter) Maybe so. But there has to be some secret to making it to 100. I haven't got a secret. It's just I grew into it. I just grew into it, and that's all. Well, I don't know. You see, I haven't been a showgoer, a drinker. I haven't done any of the things what other people are calling fun. I've lived my life one day at a time to become 100. I feel as well now as I ever did. Probably better. Centenarians are the elite athlete because they have survived every day and everything that life has thrown at them. And they've come out the other side with a great big grin on their faces. Centenarians really hate being asked about longevity, because you think about it, it's the first question they're asked. Eric Abraham, when he was asked, once said, 'I just keep breathing.' Just keep breathing. And he did right up till the day he died. RUTH: I don't feel any different than I was when I was 60. So I can't see what all the fuss is about. 'Cause age is just a couple of numbers on a piece of paper. Ah. Although Ruth didn't break a new world record in Perth... ..she did so in Canberra four months later. She's now in training for next years Oceania Games to be held in New Zealand. Olive hasn't made another public comeback. But she's filling the halls of her new nursing home with song. And Dexter is now well into his sixth book, and even working on a novelette. # That one man # Scorned and covered with scars # Still strove with his last ounce of courage # To reach the unreachable stars. # Closed Captions by CSI NARRATOR: Preaching in Nigeria has become big business. And some Christian pastors are among the country's most famous celebrities. He teaches prosperity as a sign of spiritual blessing. And the key to becoming rich is to give money to the church. Yeah! GERALDINE DOOGUE: Nigeria's millionaire preachers. That's next on Compass. It's time for the news. This is the ABC broadcasting from national, regional and shortwave stations. Good evening, everyone. MAN: What happened here? No sound. There are bound to be a few little moments of panic and tension. We're having one right now. Until the advent of Checkerboard, a lot of subjects were like breaking wind, we all do it but one doesn't talk about it. Goodness, this is getting exciting. I don't mean to be rude. Did you cut yourself shaving? (Laughs) That is so funny! # When I get all steamed up then I shout! # Rage! And now for something completely different. These tanks have just provided an escort for about 30 troop trucks which have come into Tiananmen Square from the east of the city. I'm Sarah Ferguson from the Four Corners television program. What, where? I want to talk to you about people smuggling. Who would have imagined all those years ago that one day you wouldn't need sex to make babies? I'll take that as a comment, Tony. What channel is that, Sir Cedric? The ABC! I'm giving it five stars. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live. he

Tonight - the carbon tax now

a fact of political life. Australians can look

around and see the sky hasn't

fallen in. What do you think

of this carbon tax? What do you

think of prime ministers who

tell lies before elections?

Well, this is your chance to

pass judgment. A new monument

to commemorate Australia's

worst maritime disaster. We

renew our pride in what they

did and we honour their

profound sacrifice. The Brumbies cement their

Conference lead with a win over

the Western Force.

And happy birthday, Aunty -