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Unofficial ‘World’s Oldest Man’ Fredie Blom Celebrates His Birthday

by : Lucy Connolly on : 10 May 2020 13:33
Unofficial 'World's Oldest Man' Fredie Blom Celebrates His BirthdayPA Images

The unofficial ‘world’s oldest man’ Fredie Blom has celebrated his birthday from his home in South Africa.

Blom, possibly the oldest man in the world, lived through the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that left tens of millions dead worldwide – including his sister.

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He is years older than Bob Weighton, a 112-year-old British pensioner named the world’s oldest living man by the Guinness World Records, although Blom’s age has not yet been verified by the body.

unofficial world's oldest man fredie blom 1PA Images

Sitting on the front yard of his home surrounded by his grandchildren, Blom told AFP news agency: ‘I have lived this long because of God’s grace.’ He is 116 years old.

Lighting a cigarette as he recalled the 1918 pandemic, during which he had to sleep outside on a haystack to avoid getting the disease, the 116-year-old said he will not let the current situation panic him.

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In fact, he said the worst thing about being quarantined is the nationwide ban on cigarette sales as part of a series of lockdown measures, saying cigarettes were his only birthday wish this year.

Blom was reportedly born in 1904 in the rural town of Adelaide in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, situated near the Great Winterberg Mountain range.

He has spent most of his life working on farms around Cape Town and met his 86-year-old wife Jeanette at a dance in the local area, apparently winning her heart with his jive moves.

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The couple have been married for almost 50 years now, having moved to the Cape Town suburb of Delft around 30 years ago. And while Blom never had children, he did adopt Jeanette’s two children from a previous marriage.

‘He has done everything for us,’ Blom’s 38-year-old step-daughter, Jasmien Toerien, said. ‘He would wake up at three or four in the morning to cycle to work. He loves animals and gardening.’

Blom stopped visiting the doctors more than two years ago, claiming he was tired of being examined, with his wife Jeanette saying he now just takes two Disprin tablets a day.

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‘But sometimes he steals my pills,’ she added. Dispirin pills contain aspirin and relieve mild to moderate pain.

Blom previously spoke about his secret to living as long as he has – although he insists there’s no secret – telling News24 in 2019:

It’s the boss upstairs who decided that my time isn’t up yet. I smoke my tobacco. I don’t go to the doctor. All I drink is an Eno and a Disprin tablet every day. And I am fine.

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We wish Fredie the happiest of birthdays.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, South Africa

Credits

News24 and 1 other
  1. News24

    'He doesn't want to accept he is old, let alone the oldest man in the world' - SA man celebrates 115th birthday

  2. Al Jazeera

    Fredie Blom, one of world's oldest men, celebrates 116th birthday