Frank turns 108 today
By ZOE SATHERLEY
FRANK Scarrabelotti's family and friends call him the miracle man and no wonder ? he turns 108 today.
He might be Australia's oldest man, but this Bangalow resident doesn't want anyone to fuss over him.
Even the Queen hasn't sent him a telegram since he turned 105.
"I suppose they don't expect you to be alive after 105," Frank's wife of 52 years, Nell, 80, quipped with a cheeky twinkle in her eye.
But her Frank is very much alive, well and fighting fit.
The couple fell deeply in love when she was a nurse in Lismore and he was a patient.
It gives the family a chuckle when Frank tells how he had palpitations in hospital that day ? but only when he saw the beautiful Nell.
Frank and Nell, who have two daughters, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, have been devoted to each other ever since.
Today will start as any other day for them ? a breakfast of oats, followed by bacon and eggs and one of the five cups of tea they will have through the day.
"That's what we always have," Frank said.
"One of the things I put my good health down to is following an excellent diet.
"We never buy anything too processed and avoid everything with artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. It has to be fresh.
"We eat some kind of meat three times a day.
"For lunch we might have chicken with a fresh salad dressed with a pure olive oil and vinegar dressing, followed with fresh fruit.
"There are always at least six vegetables with the evening meal which we usually finish with some ice-cream and stewed fruit."
But good food is only one of the four 'F' secrets to Frank's longevity.
The former cattle farmer, who has never suffered a major illness or broken a bone and who still has many of his original teeth, said his faith, his family and his friends were also keys to his vibrancy.
"I believe in a higher power, a presence that gives me spiritual nourishment and sustains me," said Frank, who still attends services at St Kevin's Catholic Church, Bangalow, every Sunday, dressed immaculately.
Does he ever think of meeting his maker?
"Well, I'm not scared of dying," he said.
"Everyone has to go at some time and I have lived a very blessed life. A happy, wonderful life," he said.
"I have the best family and the best friends any person could ever have.
"But I'm not ready to go yet. There is still a lot of joy and excitment in living for me.
"I read The Northern Star every day and try to keep up-to-date with world events."
Frank said that for all of the economic progress the world had seen over the past century, he wasn't sure there was a corresponding growth in the spiritual evolution of humanity.
"In many ways the world has become a much sadder place," he said.
"I see the single biggest problem as greed, from individuals to big corporations.
"At times I fear we are losing sight of our basic humanity."