Jack Monroe's walk through life may not have been the smoothest, but the long-time Dubbo Lions Club member has at least one good thing to feel fortunate about - a group of life-long, loyal friends who love and cherish him.
Mr Monroe turned 94-years-old on Thursday and was treated to cake, cards, smiles and laughs, and a day surrounded by his closest friends at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo cafe.
The birthday morning tea was arranged by Dubbo Lions Club member and Mr Monroe's good friend Lorraine Scoble.
The friends met through the Dubbo Lions Club decades ago, and make the effort to ensure they are there to celebrate each group member and friends birthdays, as well as other special occasions, especially as they get older.
Ms Scoble said these gatherings are important as most of them are on their own now, and no one deserves to spend their birthday alone.
"There such a beautiful group of people," Ms Scoble said.
"And Jack is a beautiful man."
Next month another one of the friendship group members, Elaine Bennett, is turning 91-years-old, and the friends will unite once again for her birthday.
Cole Bennett said the friends have known each other for 'forever'.
"Jack is the Dubbo Lion's Club's best cake seller," Mr Bennett said.
Every Christmas the Dubbo Lions Club sells cakes and puddings, and according to Mr Bennett, Mr Monroe was always quite the salesman and part of why that may be true is his wink.
"He's got a good wink," Mr Bennett laughed.
"I got into a bit of trouble," Mr Monroe said.
"I used to call them over, and you're not supposed to call them over."
According to the men it is those kinds of memories that you hold onto forever.
"We used to go on a lot of bus trips away together for the club too, for three or four days at a time," Mr Monroe said.
Mr Monroe was a farmer throughout his entire life, a profession in which he said he would never again enter if he had his time over.
"I was promised the world, and I never saw any of it, ever," he said.
"If I had the option to go back in time, I never would have been a farmer.
"It was a rough and rocky road to get to where I am today."
But despite the many hardships and challenges of his life, Mr Monroe still has it in him to make the most of every day and is always reasons to smile, whether it be a delicious cake, good company and weather, or a nice view.
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