Happy 100th Jim Arkell

by Team BV

100 years young – still bowling, driving and enjoying life!

We were pleased to help celebrate Jim’s 100th Birthday recently at St Kilda Bowling Club, with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, plus his mates from the Tatts Bowlers Melbourne.

Jim Arkell’s early life was happily spent on the family sheep and wheat farm in Miling, rural Western Australia.

In 1942 Jim enlisted in the 25th machine gun regiment AMF and transferred to AIF 2/23 the same year. He served coastal defence in WA, New Guinea, and Tobruk, North Africa.

Jim has been a member of the RSL for 75 years, first at his father’s branch in WA, and 60 years as a member of Caufield RSL in Victoria.

Every year Jim marches in the ANZAC parade, and has lunch with his 2/23rd mates and their families afterwards. Jim was also the Leader of the Melbourne ANZAC Day Parade in 2012. Each year, Jim is still invited by the local Gardenvale Primary School to talk to the children about the significance of ANZAC Day in our history.

With his late wife, Dorothy, Jim played bowls at the Bentleigh Club for many years and is now a member of both Bentleigh BC and Tatts Bowlers Melbourne. As an exemplary member for some 25 years, Jim was awarded Life Membership of Tatts Bowlers in 2019.

As he celebrates his 100th birthday, Jim is still very active and incredibly alert (and cheeky)! As a widower, he continues to maintain his own home, drives a car, and tends to his garden. Jim has a daughter, 3 sons, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. He is the epitome of the true Aussie digger and is much admired by all his family, friends and of course bowls mates.

Jim was surprised by a visit from the Herald Sun newspaper and Channel 7 news while celebrating at St Kilda BC late last month, and featured on the 6pm evening news and on the Herald Sun’s Instagram page, with his family and bowls mates. When asked what the key was to a long and happy life, Jim replied with “make the best of everything – and a lot of hard work”!

Happy 100 years Jim!

(Information supplied by Tatts Bowlers Melbourne).