Introducing Henry Young, a former Naval Seafire and Sea Fury pilot. Henry served with both the Fleet Air Arms of the British and Australian navies during the last days of and after World War 2.
Born in Glenelg near Adelaide, his family relocated to New Zealand where he enlisted for service as a 19-year-old in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy as war broke out.
After the war, Henry transferred to the Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm, and around that time met his late wife of 72 years, Madge.
Henry said "Being a navy wife is very, very hard so I told her she could have me as an airline pilot or as a farmer.
Henry started putting in for soldier-settler blocks
Then Henry heard about the Australian Mutual Provident Society land development scheme near Keith, in South Australia's South East, and couldn't get there fast enough."
He bought a truck and built a canopy on the back, then set off for farmland at Sherwood, near Keith.
He had five and a half years in a bush hut, with no electricity. Henry says “it was an exciting time and we all seemed to thrive – it was a bit like a collective farm with all of us soldier settlers in the community at that time. We were young and when you're young you think you're invincible. “I'm a fighter pilot. I'm competitive. I love the challenge of a tennis match – you can be down and make a comeback. Even if you lose, the challenge is always there."
Playing tennis on Rod Laver Arena to a cheering crowd of 15,000 is a dream held by every tennis player. For Henry Young, 99 years old, the dream came true at a recent Australian Open. "It was just a glorious moment."
Henry believes that the games you enjoy the most are the ones you had to fight the hardest. This is the way to keep young: to be active and keep some purpose in life.
Henry Young has lived a full life.