Cool Seniors

Reporter: Andrea Burns

There's a saying that goes something like "how old would you act if you didn't know how old you were?".

These three..Joy... Berna... and Ean, know full well how how many birthdays they've celebrated, but refuse to act their ages. And what Joy Jorgensen does is THIS..A qualified commercial pilot who teaches aerobatics, "it's always a challenge to get the manouvre just right"

"If she was 25 I wouldn't go up with her but the fact she's doing it at 70 odd years of age is fantastic" 6pr Breakfast announcer Steve Mills says seniors are an often-overlooked asset. "If we salute young people who're doing great things, why are we afraid to salute people who're still doing things into their 70's, 80's and even 90's, I reckon that's fabulous"

Joy says "I enjoy doing what I'm doing and I hadn't thought about it being any huge achievement you just plug away at what you want to do , eventually get there" Joy first learnt to fly in the 1950's, "I started when I was 18, that was back in the helmet and goggles and white scarf age"

She stopped flying to raise a family, took to the skies again in her 40's, started learning aerobatics at age 59. Joy's now 75. Commercial pilot Amy Watson is just one of her success stories. "Aamy as teachers go, how is she? the best she's really the best, I feel proud to be one of her students"

"You must work hard at whatever you do, your profession, your job, in order to get any success out of it" He might be 91 but don't mention the "r" word to Ean McDonald. "You don't retire, you retread"

A former liuetenant commander on the ill-fated hmas sydney, Ean McDonald's "retreaded" his career many times. A qualified architect, Ean's currently finishing the plans for his next home renovation.

He's the author of several books, including a biography, does historically correct maritime etchings in his spare time. At 70, Ean started a five year course for his master mariner's ticket. At 80 Ean successfully piloted Susie Maroney's swim from Cuba to the USA. He became part of her crew after watching a movie about a previous, failed attempt.

"I was most impressed with the guts of the kid keeping going, that I wrote to her mother and said that" Ean says the whole adventure taught him a lesson, too. "Be ready for any challenge at all, mind you, it's a matter of, I was younger then, I was only about 80 then" Now aged 91, mentoring students is his latest challenge.

Kalamunda High Principal Kathie Ritchie. "I think the fact that they are older , have life experiences, they have children and grandchildren and sometimes great grandchildren, they're also very non judgemental, they just listen and they help the children"

Ean says "there are thousands of needs in the community for volunteers to work on something or other to put something back into the community because we really had it lucky"

Like Ean, Berna Anning is putting something back. For 27 years, Berna Anning has been working five days a week, as one of the Autism Association's most successful fundraisers.

Manager Paul Baird. "Berna loves what she does and she's very good at it, so I think retirement age becomes irrelevant if you enjoy it so we love her being here"

"The older people tell you their worries and their woes and when one lady finished one day telling me all her stories, she just said wait till you get to my age, you'll understand" Berna says her friends are about the same age as her daughter. Teaching school children about times gone by, keeps her young, even if some questions make her laugh. "The class photos, they look at them and they say why are they black and white:

Millsy says these seniors are real examples of "life be in it"

"Life begins at 40, you get to 40 and you're still waiting for it to begin, you've gotta kick start it, you've gotta keep it going"

Ean says "adapting I suppose, a positive attitude to life and keep doing SOMETHING. That's the secret? I guess so, yes"