Many happy returns to Mr Leslie (Les) Schmaal of Resthaven Marion, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
Les was born in Mannum, South Australia, the eldest of four children. His family resided on a mixed farming property, which included cereal cropping, sheep grazing, a small dairy herd, pigs, and poultry.
After finishing primary school, Les left to help his father on the farm. After his father’s death in 1967, Les took over the running of the property, continuing until his retirement in 1993, when his son took over.
Les enlisted in the army in 1942, serving in New Guinea and North Queensland before returning to the family farm.
Les has always been a keen sportsman, and, although talented at many sports (athletics, tennis, football, and golf), his great love was cricket. One of Les’ most memorable innings was making 130 not out at Alberton Oval.
In 1957, Les met his future wife, Desma, and the couple were married in September 1958, going on to have five children, all of whom inherited Les’ sporting talent.
Following Les’ retirement from the family farm, Les and Desma moved to the Barossa Valley, where they quickly became very active and valued members of the local community.
The couple enjoyed 56 years of marriage before Desma’s death in 2014.
Les moved into Resthaven Marion in 2018, where he now enjoys life and the activities on offer (particularly concerts, bingo and footy tipping!).
He is also grateful for the visits from his family and church community. Les’ secrets for a long life are to work hard, saying that:
‘If the job is worth doing, then do it well,’ along with caring for those around you and focusing on the positives in life.
His attitudes revolve around his ‘Christian faith and love of God.’
Happy 100th birthday, Les.