Bell Park resident Vaclovas Aukstiejus who died at the age of 103, was farewelled at a service hosted by Kings Funerals.
Long-time friend Kaja Starinskas told guests Vaclovas had no family in Australia and had never married, but led a full life thanks to his passion for fishing and his connection to the small, but close-knit Lithuanian community in Geelong.
With permission we share Kaja's moving eulogy.
At last Vaclovas reached his final destination - a permanent home in God's care. It took, in fact, 103 years and six months to do it.
Vaclovas was born in the year that Lithuania became independent, February 1918; and he was born in April of that year. He was very proud of that fact.
After the Second World War he spent time as a displaced person until he migrated to Australia. After completing the contracted two years of work, he moved to Geelong in the early fifties and worked at Pilkington's Glass factory until his retirement.
Vaclovas never married nor owned a car, he used to say that's why he lived so long. He owned his house in Bell Park and was a very independent person. To get about he rode his bicycle, even when he was in his nineties.
He has no family here in Australia, all of his sisters, brothers and their families live in Lithuania. He was very generous to them and helped them financially so that they could lead a better life over there. He never went back to his place of birth, even when Lithuania regained its independence in 1991. He argued that the money spent would be better used by his family over there.
He was a respected member of our small Lithuanian community here in Geelong, attending all of our functions. He was also a proud Australian citizen. His main passion and hobby was fishing. He joined the Geelong and District Angling Club, many years ago and stayed a financial member. He was awarded Life Membership by the club.
It is sad to lose any one from one's family and so it is with Vaclovas, but on behalf of the committee and the whole community we wish farewell to Vaclovas. May he rest in peace in God's kingdom, in whom he believed.
Ilsekis ramybeje Vaclovai. Rest in peace.
Originally published as 103-year old's surprising secret to longevity