GREENWAY TENANTS GROUP
Albert Edward Morgan
5 April 1908 – 6 July 2015
Picture by DAVID SWIFT, from Mosman Daily
During this time he did not see Irene for four years and two weeks after he returned from the war they got married. They moved to Australia in 1951 from England and the following year, on October 27, they became the first people to move into Greenway. He is the longest standing resident of the housing commission complex.
Mr Leaper worked hard as a carpenter, both with Leighton and as a subcontractor, and the couple toured the world on cruise ships. “We had a wonderful life together,” he said. He retired in 1981 but maintains a busy schedule as he still drives a car, buys his groceries, does all his cleaning and keeps his apartment in immaculate condition. And when asked what the secret to his good health is he said: “I don’t know. Just plodding along.” “I got a lot of aches and pains. A lot of people are a lot worse off than me so what have I got to complain about really? I just keep pressing on,” he said.
Why war veteran and widower George Leaper, 93, has stopped trying to chat to people.
“IT’D be nice to have a chat.” George Leaper isn’t asking for much. The 93year-old war veteran would simply like to enjoy a friendly conversation when he is out on his regular walks.
But he has given up as he has found time and time again that people are more interested in their mobile phones and laptops.
“They don’t want to say anything,” he said. “I sat on that seat yesterday and a woman came down and sat beside me. I said: ‘Oh, did you have a nice walk across the bridge?’ and ‘Oh yes, very nice’. “And then out comes the phone.”
Mr Leaper lives alone as his wife Irene died in 2007.
They could not have children and he has one friend left in Sydney. “They’re all gone,” he said.
He often walks from his home in Greenway Housing Estate to Milsons Point station where he watches the birds from a seat under the shade of a tunnel. He wishes people would talk more often to him and to each other and feels people do not have time any more. “I got to the stage I don’t bother (approaching people). New people come into the flats, they don’t want to talk,” he said. “I can go in and out of there and not see anybody. It’s amazing. I don’t worry as long as I get the paper every day and I read that. And I get my soccer on Friday nights. I’m all right.”
Mr Leaper is filled with stories from his life.
He served as a carpenter for the RAF in World War II and travelled with the forces to the Middle East and Italy.
Albert was born in Wales and lived in London for 24 years. In 1952, he took a sea voyage across the Pacific Ocean and found his way to Gunnedah, a country town in northeast New South Wales.
He lived in Greenway for 54 years, more than half his life. He said Kirribilli and Milsons Point hadn’t changed at all in over half a century. Albert had fared well too.
So, what’s the secret to living a long life?
In his younger years, Albert played badminton, tennis and football. “I’ve been pretty active,” he said.
Albert also credits the women in his life for his health. “I had a good wife for 70 years and one week. And a good daughter who is 78.”
Albert met his wife at a dance, during a holiday in Wales.
“I asked her for a dance and that was it,” he says. “We had a comfortable life. We enjoyed life.”
The way to maintain a happy marriage, according to Albert, is to understand each other and to bury the hatchet before bed.
“Never let the sun go down on your wrath. We had our tiffs, we disagreed, but we never carried it overnight.”
With sadness we advise that Albert Morgan passed away on Monday evening, 6 July 2015, aged 107. Albert was the oldest resident at Greenway Housing Estate, and had lived there for 57 years.
Born in Pentre, South Wales on 5 April 1908, Albert saw a lot change in his long life. He was married to Olive for 70 years. He passed away peacefully at the Royal North Shore Hospital on Monday 6 July.
Albert will be remembered not only for his age, but also his sense of humour, and cheeky personality.
A Thanksgiving and Memorial Service was held at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre on Thursday 9 July 2015.