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Saturday, January 07, 2017



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Now that you know I’m seventy, I hope you all don't mind if I read my speech. At seventy I hope I can be excused not to remember speeches anymore.

I thank my wife Edna for her love and understanding, for her dedication in bringing up our children well, for her encouragement in all my aspirations and for her constant companionship and steadfast support during the last 42 years and the beautiful greeting writeup on Facebook.

I thank my children for their love and respect, and care and support. Daughter Denise is always there for us with her most logical solutions and the most elaborate surprises. Son Denzil is very loving and always passionate about whatever he does. And he is always there when we need him. He also comes up with convenient solutions that somehow always involve the use of computer technology. And daughter Dahlia is ever present to keep our spirits high with her music, humour and energy.

I am blessed and my life is full of love and friendship – with friends like you and more.

Lately my friends have been saying: “Hey, Tony, you don’t look seventy”. At this point in time I’d like to mention that I owe my youthful looks to my wife Edna’s wonderful cooking.

Nevertheless, since I really can’t believe it myself that I’m seventy,I insist on a recount. This age count is rigged, and I say it's been rigged bigly!

They say when you get to be my age one may first tend to forget names; then forget faces; and then so many other things, but my dear relatives and friends, you will never be forgotten. Thank you for your friendship during all these years.
I must say that being 70 was not easy – it took me 25,568 days to get here, including that extra day in leap years. Having been born in the roaring forties, life has been a great experience - studying through the swinging fifties, donning a Beatles haircut and sailing to Dubai in the sixties, getting married in the fabulous seventies, and learning to manage kids through the rocking eighties, digital nineties and the new millennium with twitter, email, facebook, etcetera. 
Now, it’s time to look on the lighter and brighter side.

From today I shall presume that I am twenty with 50 years experience.Convert that into Celsius and it should be about 17 without wind-chill.

From now on I shall select only sweet tunes as they say the older the fiddle sweeter the tune. Or it may be the same fiddler, same fiddle, but a different tune.

Have you ever wondered why seventy is considered to be a great mile stone. It’s very simple my friends - because if we were to count age in kilometres I would have been 112 years old today. Besides, who'd want to live that long eh?

Days of inflation are long gone for me. Inflation was supposed to be when I paid fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut when I had hair. I wasn't a show-off, but keeping the barber happy with a 50% tip meant that a good hair-cut was very important in my younger days. But inflation or no inflation – now I don’t have to worry about rising cost of hair-cuts, or even try to get mileage from my hair any more. And besides, a good collection of hats does the rest!

I’d like to say that today, as I embark on yet another 365-day journey around the sun, with wonderful friends and a loving family, I look forward to a wonderful year ahead. And after having completed 70 of these round trips already, which incidentally means a lot of experience, I am happy to be alive to tell the tale. I thank the Lord for a good life, a good wife, beautiful kids and excellent friends.

All these years, it's been hard to visualize what it would mean to be 70. I like the phrase 'aging gracefully' as some people so well put it, while others live and age so well - if I could only keep up with that. Sometimes in the past the thought of getting older has been a scary one for me - making me tend to think that there's no guarantee, and that the chances of being up and running are finally running out.

My parents are no longer living, but I always remember them and owe them for the happy and good life that I enjoy today. They made sure that I got an education, but more importantly nurtured me with their love, and instilled in me the good values of life. I am sure they are watching on me today with their blessings, along with the company of my mother-in-law and father-in-law who treated me like their own son in the absence of my own parents.

My grandson Ari Lukasz & grand-daughter Anya Teresa will brighten the rest of my journey.

A big 'thank you' for the good wishes on my 70th birthday from my family members - my wife, my children, my grandson, my grand-daughter, friends and relatives who have remembered me on this day, and all those who have sent in their wishes by way of greetings on social media like Facebook, emails and telephone calls making me feel fortunate and blessed. 

Happy Birthday to all those who share and celebrate their birthday with me today. To those who are still young and have to be 70, I'd say this, if I may:

"You'll catch up to be my age one day, but you'll never win."