Ted Mulligan – Age is only the beginning

At 104, Ted Mulligan is one of Home Nursing Group’s eldest clients. Born over a century ago in 1916, Ted was raised just outside Guyra on his parent’s property named “Glenore”. It was here that he discovered his passion for horses.

In primary school he would ride his horse 1 mile to “ Hillsdale” school. Once in High school he would ride his horse 12 miles on Monday morning, stay at Guyra for the week so that he could attend school and then he would ride home again on Friday, Ted became quite comfortable in the saddle with all the riding he had to do.

When he was a bit older, he began to compete in horse events. The same horse won 41 times. Ted says that it was the horse that won and not him! He rode the Queen’s horse at the Royal Easter Show for 5 years and competed with it 5 times which led him in meeting Her Majesty and the Duke in person.

Ted was also in the Army for six years, during World War ll where he served time overseas in Papua New Guinea and most of the islands toward Japan for part of this time he drove tanks for 3 years then the small ships.
After the war, Ted came home to the family farm where he met his wife Iris. They had six children.

Ted has achieved many great things in his life; one of those accomplishments was being awarded the Order of Australia Medal. Modest and unassumingly, Ted says, “I didn’t do anything special, I reckon they just pulled my name out of a hat”.

When asked what life was all about, Ted responds, “If you live it well, do all the right things, help other people to the extent you can, I think you will achieve something” His greatest passions in life are his family, horses and cricket in that order. When Ted was young, he played cricket competitively and was even asked to represent NSW. However with the war and the depression, times were tough and Ted couldn’t take up the offer as he said he couldn’t live on fresh air and no money. He did play a few shield matches. His passion for cricket has paid off as the recreation ground in Guyra were renamed in Ted’s honour and is now named, “The Ted Mulligan Oval”.

Ted has lived an extremely healthy life and believes that the key to living to one hundred is staying fit and working hard. However, in 2016 Ted was in an accident where he was hit by a car. When asked about this, Ted responds very casually and, in a way that only an old Australian bushman would, it was not his fault, I shouldn’t have been walking there. Always seeing the silver lining, Ted says that he was lucky to be hit by the car as when he had x-rays and blood tests he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Getting diagnosed with cancer at 99,the doctor’s didn’t hold out much hope. Nevertheless, Ted’s years of healthy living paid off. He was fit enough to undergo treatment and is now the oldest person in Australia to have ever gone into remission, that’s what the Dr’s told him and Ted replied “ you must tell all the old buggers that”.

It was after this that Ted joined Home Nursing Group. He quite candidly states, “I know I can’t do all the things I used to be able to do. After the accident and chemo I needed more help”.

Although his family is extremely involved in looking after him, having Home Nursing Group come every morning to help gives them peace of mind. He believes that Home Nursing Group has played a major role in his reablement and has allowed him to get back into doing the things he loves, like going to watch the cricket or visiting his great- grandchildren.
Ted said that he was asked “ what’s the secret of living to 100 + Ted smiled and replied “Not dying beforehand”.

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