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102-Year-Old WWII Veteran Refuses To Retire

Poppy Bilderbeck

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102-Year-Old WWII Veteran Refuses To Retire

A 102-year-old Australian war veteran has refused to retire and even pursued a whole new career later in life.

For many of us, retirement is the time where you have the freedom to be able to kick back and watch Netflix, go for a walk, or spend your days tucking into a good book not just on the weekends but on any given day, a distant and dreamlike future.

However, such a quiet and peaceful existence is not the life desired by Phil Hodgson.

Phil Hodgson still hasn't retired despite being 102 years old. Credit: Sutherland Shire Toy Restoration Centre/ Facebook
Phil Hodgson still hasn't retired despite being 102 years old. Credit: Sutherland Shire Toy Restoration Centre/ Facebook

The 102-year-old World War Two veteran may have briefly retired in 1962, but it didn't take long before he got bored. Instead, he decided to pick up a hobby and has since proved you can learn a new skill and start a different profession no matter what age.

Before fighting for his country in WWII, Hodgson worked as a barber from 1934. His second job was as a sales representative.

In 1962, he briefly retired, however, he quickly realised he didn't want to sit still and 'watch television' and set about getting himself another job despite being in his 60s.

The 102-year-old soon discovered he had a passion for woodwork.


He now works in the south of Sydney, at the Sutherland Shire Toy Restoration Centre, where for the past 15 years he has been mending and making children's toys.

"The shop was founded by retired Sutherland shire worker Ted Brooker in 1975 and joined by Dot Hopwood Repairing and recycling of toys by senior members of the community, for distribution to needy families in the Shire," according to its Facebook page.

When asked why he made such a career change and decided to keep busy rather than continuing his life in retirement, Hodgson told A Current Affair: "What [would] I do otherwise? What would you do?"


Hodgson has lived alone since his wife passed away five years ago.

The 102-year-old veteran now spends his days crafting 'miniature dolls house furniture', such as miniature chairs, tables toilets, beds and even coat-hangers. He described his job as a 'bit of fun'.

Elderly employees make up the majority of workers at Sutherland Shire Toy Restoration Centre. However, Hodgson is the centre's eldest volunteer.

The centre raised $27,000 for its local community in 2021 and all of its profits go to charity.

The 102-year-old explained how much he enjoys working for the centre 'every day' and that he has 'no complaints or regrets'.

Hodgson also noted he doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon.

Featured Image Credit: Nine News

Topics: World War 2, Australia

Poppy Bilderbeck
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