Don Moffatt recently received an AM for his services to the community in several fields.
Don Moffatt recently received an AM for his services to the community in several fields.

Driven to help, Don not about to rest on laurels

DON Moffatt's home-office is floor to ceiling full of his passions; flying, horses and the Coast community - all displayed with pride.

The property developer has many well-deserved accolades to his name.

He's well known for his leadership of the Coast's rescue service Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service and LifeFlight, and the Sunshine Coast Tourism Board and Sunshine Coast Turf Club.

Most recently he was awarded an AM for his services to the community.

Seniors News spoke with Don about living as a senior on the Coast.

Living as a senior

I don't see why we have this category called seniors. I don't see myself different to the people I deal with who go from early 20s to mid to late 60s.

It just happens; it's the way life goes. You just get older. As smart as we all might be, we can't change that. I have never been one to ask the establishment to look after me. I've always considered it's my job and responsibility to look after me and mine.

I left school and joined the army in the military as a helicopter pilot. There is nobody holding your hand; it's a very individual job flying a helicopter.

I have controlled my own destiny.

On turning 74

Just don't ask anything of me after 6pm. I plonk down and watch the news, and that's the end of me. I'm not worth two bob after that.

I'm not a senior. The only time I was a senior was in my last year in school.

Retiring from paid work

I have absolutely no intention of retiring.

The thing that will stop me is health. I don't think there is anything special about me working at 74; that's my choice. I am very happy doing it. I don't like the alternatives. I don't intend on joining that crowd.

Keeping fit

I haven't had a history of good health. When I came back from Vietnam, I had half my gut removed and that was the beginning of a pretty ordinary health regimen, but I have managed that.

I have had all sorts of operations, the most recent being open-heart surgery.

All you have to do is what the doctor says and that's the best you can do and if that doesn't work, then drop dead.

I go to the gym twice a week with my physio, go to the physio once a week and walk the dog on weekends.

Who do you admire?

Plenty of people, particularly my grandfather, who had a big hand in rearing me; and my grandmother and mother; my father died when I was very young.

I couldn't fault what they did for me. It wasn't silver-spoon stuff, but it was certainly good, nutritious living. We were in the bush at Kingaroy and it was a childhood I wouldn't change for anything.

What have you still not done?

Go to the moon. When I came back from Vietnam, the army sent me to England to do a helicopter instructor's course. It was when man walked on the moon: 1969. I was 23.

I wondered if I could wrangle my way through the military system to get into the American system and to Cape Canaveral as an astronaut. The gut trouble put an end to that.

But I would only want to go if I could sit up front and fly it. I don't want to sit down the back!


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