What's the secret to living a long life?

A LOT has changed in this world over the past 100 years, but one thing has stayed the same - the presence of Lavington Fisher.

Lavington today celebrates his 100th birthday, a fantastic achievement of longevity.

"I'm thankful for the life I've had," he told the Herald. "The length of which I attribute to my long-living parents, my mother was 79 and my father 86."

Lavington also attributed his long life to a positive attitude and not dwelling on the past - as well as a ripping sense of humour.

"I would be the oldest person in the building - and the ugliest," he joked. 

"To be living at this age and on no medication is wonderful."

While 13 is unlucky for some it would appear to be the opposite for Lavington.

"Thirteen's my lucky number," he said."I was born in 1913, it's 2013 now and the cricketer notches up a century!"

Lavington had plenty of advice for the younger generation.

"One of the things that will extend your life is laughter," he said. "And it costs so little."

Lavington was born on August 1, 1913, in the Mundulla Hotel.

He grew up on a farm and through years of hard work he made a great living off the land.

He bought his first tractor at 15 - "It was a Crawler tractor," Lavington recalled.

In order to keep the family farm at Mundulla going during the depression years when everything was tough, Lavington drove trucks at Leigh Creek with his brother Edward - back then it was just a tent city.

He also worked at quarries in the Adelaide Hills, carting gravel for roads. Following the family farm Lavington then operated a share farm at Joanna before he moved to his own farm just across the border from Frances, near Neaurpurr.

Such was the respect people in the district had for him, he was approached by Charles Koch to represent the area in local government.

"He said 'Lavington - you don't differentiate between people'," Lavington said. "That was a lovely thing for him to say."

Lavington attended meetings in Edenhope and served on council for 18 years.

One thing is certain, Lavington has lived an interesting life.

He recalled working on building the first road between Katherine and Darwin during World War II, where he elected to work in essential services rather than overseas.

"Every state had a section from Alice Springs to Darwin - SA was fortunate enough to have Darling Waters to Darwin," Lavington said. "My brother and I had our trucks up there."

The bombing of Darwin occurred while they were in the Northern Territory, which Lavington heard; however, he had no idea of the chaos that would come with it.

"I didn't know what was going on," Lavington said.

He also remembered his 29th birthday in 1942 as a particularly memorable occasion.

"Mr Bonney - our foreman - he said: 'Lavington will you go down to the post office and get the mail?'

"You wouldn't believe it but there was a cake there - they could have asked anyone to go get the mail that day, how lucky was I?"

A year after the war ended Lavington married his girlfriend, the late Lois.

The pair were married for 43 years and had four children together - Carolyn, Frank, David and Penny.

"I love my kids," Lavington said. "Fortunately they show a love to me, which is a godsend."

One of Lavington's proudest moments is the success of his children.

David and Carolyn now live in New Zealand with their partners - David having followed Lavington into farming. Frank is a pilot and Penny sees her dad almost every day as an aged care worker at Longridge.

Flying with Frank was quite an experience for Lavington.

He remembered one occasion when, because he was flying for free, he got last pick of the seats.

"The flight attendant came out and said to me 'I'm sorry Mr Fisher the only seat we have left is first class'," Lavington laughed.

"I said 'well I'm certainly not sorry about that!'"

On that flight he sat in first class next to a businessman and recalled his shock when the pilot came out and said "righto come on up to the cockpit dad we've got to set this thing down."

Lavington moved into Naracoorte in the early 1980s, building a house on Clover Cr.

A keen cyclist, he used to ride up and down the hills of Naracoorte.

One day boredom got to the then 85-year-old and so he bought a farm out at Apsley, doing it up and selling it for double the price a few years later.

Naracoorte's newest centurion moved into Longridge around a month before his 99th birthday last year.

"Longridge is a little bit of heaven for me," Lavington said.

"I would like to thank all of the staff that are so lovely to me and all the residents and also Longridge director of care Liz Broadstock - my very sincere thanks from all of my family."

One for 100: Lavington Fisher cuts his birthday cake flanked by his "baby daughter" Penny to celebrate his 100th birthday. Age has never been a barrier for Lavington and he is still going strong as he reaches triple figures.

One for 100: Lavington Fisher cuts his birthday cake flanked by his "baby daughter" Penny to celebrate his 100th birthday. Age has never been a barrier for Lavington and he is still going strong as he reaches triple figures.

This story What's the secret to living a long life? first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.