Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Bloody Good Swan Song; Doug Makes Last Blood Donation after 50 Years

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Bloody Good Swan Song; Doug Makes Last Blood Donation after 50 Years

Article excerpt

Emily Blatchford


DOUG Jones wants to know if we can schedule our interview for Friday afternoon.

C[pounds sterling]It's just that I'm playing tennis in the morning,C[yen] he said. Doug Jones is 80 years old.

The Observer stumbled across Mr Jones when Gladstone Blood Service told us he hung up his blood bag and made his last donation in December.

It's a practice Mr Jones had been committed to since the first time he rolled up his sleeve in 1958.

C[pounds sterling]I actually just came across that piece of paper that you get with your first donation,C[yen] he said. C[pounds sterling]It's dated 24 June, 1958.C[yen]

Since then Mr Jones had been donating blood every three months.

C[pounds sterling]I really think it's important,C[yen] he said. C[pounds sterling]It's a necessity of life.C[yen]

But that's not all that's extraordinary about Mr Jones.

Turning 81 next month, he still plays tennis, walks his dogs, rides his bike and goes hashing every Monday night with the Gladstone Hash House Harriers.

For those who haven't heard of HHH, it's an international group of non-competitive running, social and drinking clubs Co although Mr Jones, who is nicknamed Junior, concedes his running days are over.

C[pounds sterling]Every Monday night we meet in different spots around Gladstone,C[yen] he said.

Someone is the designated Cyhare' and creates a track for the others to follow.

C[pounds sterling]We follow markings, like chalk on the road, a flour track through the bush or toilet paper tied to trees,C[yen] he said. C[pounds sterling]It takes three-quarters of an hour to an hour to do. I used to run it, but I'm slowing down a bit now.

C[pounds sterling]Still, it's good to have a run-around and a general get-together.C[yen]

Another way Mr Jones keeps fit and healthy is running around after his partner's grandchildren.

C[pounds sterling]Now that keeps you fit,C[yen] he said. C[pounds sterling]A seven-year-old and two four-year-old twins. Gee whiz. I have half an hour of that and then I need ten hours off.C[yen]

Mr Jones, who officially became a great-grandfather in December, is originally from Victoria and has been living in Gladstone for the past seven years. …

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