YESTERDAY George Albert Prolongeau of Sebastopol officially celebrated his 100th birthday but the celebrations started a week
ago with a celebration with his RSL colleagues during their general meeting at the Sebastopol RSL club rooms last Thursday and on Saturday George celebrated with around 160 family and friends at the Gospel Hall in Peel Street.
George is not the only family member to have a birthday on March 8.
“My sister’s birthday is the same day, she is 102 and my younger brother, who is seven years younger than me (he died 9 years ago), his birthday was also on the same day,” Mr Prolongeau explained.
“I remember getting out of bed when I was 7, my sister was nine, and my father said you can have too much education, it might go into your head. He said it’s your birthday, have the day off. Go to your aunty Emma’s – she lived in Magpie – and we were to stay there until four o’clock and when we got home I had a baby brother – that’s how much we knew in those days!” George is a World War Two veteran who served with the Field Ambulance in Papua New Guinea during WWII. He is one of three Prolongeau brothers who enlisted in the 2nd AIF. One brother, John, was a prisoner of war in Europe after being captured in North Africa.
The other brother, William, also served in Papua and New Guinea.
In his civilian life George worked as an ambulance officer in Ballarat. He is a life member of the retired ambulance officers, of which he is very proud of. “I’m a Christian man and I asked to be in a non-combatant unit in the army and I was in the medical unitfiled ambulance,” George said.
“I was a corporal and we were in action like others but mostly I was in the hospital cooking and did the cooking for the officers.” Asked whether it has been a good 100 years, Mr Prolongeau responded with a quick and decisive ‘absolutely’. “I’m a Christian man. I don’t smoke, drink, swear or anything like that and I’m just so happy, contented, and I don’t become angry,” he said.“In other words my wife Joyce and I are both as happy and healthy as people of our age could be.”