Compass: Aug 29

Dexter Kruger became Australia's oldest living person when he turned 111 in February.

On Sunday Compass screens a follow up to its documentary “The 100+ Club.”

Now, “The 110+ Club” profiles Dexter Kruger who became Australia’s oldest living person when he turned 111 in February.

This is directed and produced by Mandy Lake of FlickChicks Productions.

In the 111th year of his life, outback author Dexter Kruger is in a race against time towards his ultimate deadline.

Roma-based, retired cattleman, Dexter Kruger, is old. Very, very old.

So old, in fact, that he was a toddler when the Titanic sank, four when the First World War broke out, he’s lived through the Spanish Flu and the Great Depression, and he’s seen about 20 Australian Prime Ministers come and go.

The last time we saw Dexter on ABC’s Compass programme – in ‘The 100+ Club’ documentary nine years ago – the outback author was busy finishing off his 5th book, with the help of his faithful “decipherer”, Bob.

Little did we imagine back then while we were capturing Dexter zipping about on a quad bike, cracking whips, and quips, that he would not only still be ‘with us’ in 2020, but also filming for the sequel – ‘The 110+ Club (Dexter Kruger Was Here’!

Yet, at 110 years of age, Dexter’s not only very much alive and kicking, but he’s also as sharp-witted, fully focussed, and goal oriented as ever!

And, as we’ll see in this half hour documentary – which kicks off with his 110th birthday bash, and follows him for the next 553 days – the supercentenarian still has a few outstanding items to tick off his bucket list.

For starters, he’s absolutely determined to blow out the candles on his 111th birthday cake on 13 January, 2021.

The world’s oldest living author is also ardently working on his 13th and final book – which he describes as “a collection of all the little and big things that I’ve seen and heard through my long life”.

“It’s a story of success,” Dexter says. “For I’ve defeated everything put before me.”

What’s even more impressive is that he’s aiming to release it on the very day he wants to write himself into the history books by becoming Australia’s oldest ever man – 17 May, 2021.

Those who know Dexter have no doubt that his sheer mindpower and tenacity could help carry him to that seemingly ambitious deadline; but, sadly, it’s his body that may ultimately let him down – his organs are now starting to shut down.

Make no mistake, it’s the writing that’s keeping Dexter going, but he also arguably wouldn’t be alive today were it not for his “adoptive grand-daughter” and self-described “secretary”, Janet Rowling.

Janet stepped up to the plate with her laptop, as Dexter’s decipherer four years ago, and she’s since been visiting the near-blind author three times a week to help put his stories onto ‘paper’, as well as update his social media (he’s a huge fan of Facebook).

A devout member of Roma’s Life Christian Church, the 56-year-old mum of two firmly believes “God sent me to work with Dexter” and she’s been fervently “praying for his soul” since his surprising revelation to her that he – a regular church-goer – doesn’t believe in the bible and “God is but three letters on a piece of paper”.

Needless to say, these unlikely friends have had some very spirited conversations about religion over the years and Janet’s now on her own personal quest to save her beloved friend from “eternal hell” but, as we’ll see, the mutual respect they have for each other’s belief systems is simply beautiful to behold.

At its very heart, ‘The 110+ Club (Dexter Kruger Was Here)’ is both quintessential a buddy film, as well as a moving portrait of one of Australia’s most inspiring characters.

8pm Sunday on ABC TV+

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