Today in history: Man, 84, 'ancient' by 1937 standards

ON THIS day (January 7) in Gladstone history: 

1937:

Mr EJ Lawrence, formerly of Gladstone, who celebrated his 84th birthday in Brisbane today, is one of a family of ancients.

His father, a London tailor, died at the age of 97. His father's mother reached 107. Mr Lawrence's mother was 89 when she died, and her mother was 101.

Mr Lawrence said tonight that he himself felt young at 84.

When he was watching a gazette at a Gladstone picture show two or three years ago, Mr Lawrence startled the audience by shouting excitedly in the middle of a scene showing the Mayor of Westminster at the wedding of the Princess Royal: "There's my young brother."

The "young brother" Mayor of Westminster at the time, was George Lawrence, who is now 82 years old.

Mr EJ Lawrence served in a French ambulance in the Franco-Prussian War in an interval in a seafaring youth.

He came to Brisbane in several emigrant barks and left one of them to work for the Queensland Meat Export Company, first at Queen's Port, and then at Gladstone, where he spent 38 years.

Only two years ago, he retired from his work as a clerk in the Gladstone Meatworks.