CELEBRATE: Meshack Blom, left, turned 100

Taking long walks and serving God is this oupa’s secret to long life.

Meshack Blom celebrated his 100th birthday over the weekend, and while most people his age complain of aches and pains, the centenarian walked straight up and unaided into a hall filled with relatives and friends who came to celebrate his milestone.

Also in the packed hall in Worcester were several cousins who Meshack met two years ago for the first time.

Daughter Madge van Harte, 69, says her dad still walks every day even though his mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and his health is failing after a stroke earlier this year.

“He used to walk to school every day when he still taught at Moordkuil, a farm several kilometres outside Worcester,” says Madge.

Meester Blom, as he is still fondly known, was born in Nieu Bethesda in 1916, trained as a teacher at Sohnge College in Worcester and had his first post in a small town called Koeipan in the Kalahari.

He married Sarah Visagie in 1940 and together they had seven kids, of whom four are still alive.

Meshack retired after 27 years of teaching, but still did odd jobs, walking about 10km to Panorama every day until he was in his late eighties.

Pannie Mostert says the old man took care of her sons for more than 10 years after his retirement.

“He used to arrive so early that we had to switch on the lights so he could work,” she jokes.

Meshack is also a church ouderling, says Madge, adding: “His recipe for a long life is living according to God’s word.”