Under the shade of an umbrella, with a crocheted blanket draped over his shoulders, war veteran Frank Jackson celebrated a major milestone, surrounded by family. 

Key points:

  • Frank Jackson has celebrated his 100th birthday at the Bay Street border
  • His daughters and sons-in-law were “just hoping they’d make it in time”, travelling from interstate
  • The family had applied for an exemption to see Frank, but feared if they quarantined for two weeks, they would be too late

The middle of a street is an unusual place to throw a 100th birthday party, but the Bay Street border barricade has become a meeting spot for families separated by border restrictions. 

One of his daughters and sons-in-law, Debbie and Rainer Listing, drove 12 hours from Falls Creek to see Frank for what could be the final time. 

Another daughter, Ros Warden, made the trip from the Gunnedah region. 

His Queensland-based son Chris Jackson was also at the special border party. 

“It’s a special time and it’s the best we could do,” Mr Listing said.

“He’s not well unfortunately, he’s dying.

man in wheelchair with photo album

Frank Jackson celebrates his 100th birthday at the border. (ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

Frank lives in a Cleveland nursing home — a trip to the border was enough to knock the centenarian around. 

“We’re only seeing him for a brief period,” Mr Listing said.

But his family saw it as the only option for a special family reunion.

A close-up of a photo album with an elderly man seated in the background.

Frank’s family travelled 12 hours to be with him on his 100th birthday. (ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

The family members based interstate had applied for an exemption to cross the border to visit Frank. 

“We thought we could just drive across just in the car, the nursing home was very happy for us to do that.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get a permit to cross the border unless we flew and quarantined and there’s a lengthy delay for quarantine, so this was the only possibility to see him.”

family standing at the border with balloons

Frank Jackson’s daughters and sons-in-law travelled from Falls Creek and Gunnedah.(ABC Gold Coast: Cathy Border)

Mr Listing said they’d taken every precaution on the trip. 

“We were contactless all the way, we’ve all been double vaxxed and had recent tests, just to be doubly sure.”

Dying war veteran celebrates 100th birthday at the border
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