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John Foley, centre, was born on 19 February, 1917 in the County of Limerick in Ireland.

100th celebration for John Foley

FORRESTFIELD resident John Foley was born on 19 February, 1917 in the County of Limerick in Ireland.

His father was a farmer and he grew up in Abbey Field in a very difficult time.

Food was very scarce and he spent a lot of his time planting potatoes and helping his father on their farm.

He had a very strict school life growing up.

After school he went straight into farming.

John met his wife Helen in Ireland and they were married in 1944 when John was 27.

John and his wife had twelve children – Elisabeth, John, Mary, Bridget, Nora, David (RIP), Greta, Eileen, Margaret, Daniel, Kathleen and Hannah.

The family came to Australia on the Arora in 1978 and John worked as a wheat farmer in Hayden in the 1960s.

He had many occupations around farming – he was a pig farmer, dairy farmer and sent his milk to the creamery, and eventually ended up as a gardener in Perth in the 1980s.

John has 24 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and two of the next generation also on the way.

His wife passed away 25 years ago.

John loves Guinness beer and made his own brew for many years.

His daughter Hannah Plenk said he was an extremely hard working and generous man.

He was one of a kind who went above and beyond to help others and his family and always went the extra mile when they were sick.

The staff at Jeremiah Donovan House said John was a lovely, friendly and kind gentleman who was humble man and grateful for everything life had provided him.

When asked for the secret to his successful life and old age, the Jeremiah Donovan House resident just laughed and said Guinness.

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

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