Local celebrates over 40 years of living in Nambucca Heads

Clarrie's latest project is building a dollhouse for one of his grandkids. Photo: Stephen Katte
Clarrie's latest project is building a dollhouse for one of his grandkids. Photo: Stephen Katte

Clarrie Dean first came to Nambucca Heads back in the 1960s on holidays with his family, but the 94 year old had no idea that those early road trips to the valley would turn into something far more permanent.

"Before I met my wife, Hazel, she used to come up to Nambucca holidaying with her family," Clarrie said.

"After we were married, we came back with our kids on quite a few holidays in our first car, a Morris Minor.

"When we retired, we decided to move here, it's been over 40 years now and I'm never leaving, I'm determined to stay where I am."

Clarrie and Hazel Dean enjoyed nearly 70 years of marriage before she passed away in early 2018, and while it has been many decades, he can still recall their first meeting as though it were yesterday.

"She picked me up at a dance; the DJ said that it was the ladies turn to pick a dance partner, and she picked me," Clarrie said.

"I walked her home after and that was it, love at first sight, we were married a few years later, I was 22 and she was 18."

Can your Grandfather do this? Clarrie credits his active lifestyle as the main reason for his excellent fitness and strength. Photo: Stephen Katte

Can your Grandfather do this? Clarrie credits his active lifestyle as the main reason for his excellent fitness and strength. Photo: Stephen Katte

Before he called Nambucca Heads home, Clarrie grew up in the St George area of Sydney, and trained as a boxer amassing an impressive amount of wins as an amateur.

"I was asthmatic as a kid and the doctors told me I had to exercise to help my breathing, my brother was a boxer and he brought me along to training when I was about 12," he said.

"That's how I got into boxing; I went on to have a total of 17 fights, with 16 wins and one draw to my name.

"I could have kept going, but I gave it for my wife, I brought her to one of my fights and she didn't like seeing me get hurt, so we took up dancing instead."

At 94, Clarrie could be forgiven for slowing down a bit, but the energetic senior citizen isn't your average 94 year old, boasting a strength and fitness people half his age would envy.

"Gotta keep fit and healthy, I still walk to the RSL for a beer and a bet, and I keep active around the house, gardening and building things," he said.

"I'm thinking about putting up a punching bag, and maybe building myself a set of weights too.

"I like to keep busy, I learnt to Skype during the COVID-19 lock down, it's been great to be able to keep up with friends and family."

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