Jack proves he’s still A1 in town at 103

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Jack Renault at A1 Autos
Camera IconJack Renault at A1 Autos

Most people can only fantasise about making it to 100, but Karratha business owner Jack Renault is proof there is no slowing down once reaching the big milestone.

The local character and A1 Autos owner celebrated his 103rd birthday last Thursday and still spends his days working in his shop with his dog beneath his desk.

While Mr Renault admitted he did feel old, he said there were perks to making it to 103.

“You get yourself a lot of friends,” he said. “Friends are very, very important.”

In fact, friendship is so important to Mr Renault he said it was part of his secret to a long and happy life.

His weekly visitor list is long too, as people come into the shop with coffee, tea, soup and other goodies.

The much-loved Karratha icon celebrated his latest lap around the sun with 40 mates at a Chinese takeaway outlet.

Originally hailing from up-state New York, Mr Renault came to Dampier in 1968 when he was contracted as a painter by Hamersley Iron. He spent years with the company before taking over a friend’s auto parts store, A1 Autos, as a chance to work more independently. And he has been there ever since.

“I sat down and I thought, this would be a very nice place to do what you’d like to do,” he said.

“I was an avid diver ... I loved fishing, I loved the bush, I love my independence, I don’t want people telling me to do anything, and so here I am, 40-odd years later.

“One thing that I insist on is do things thoroughly. Don’t do it halfway, don’t do it three quarters of the way.”

Mr Renault travelled the world before settling in Karratha and encouraged young people to do the same.

“Don’t be afraid to get off the island of Australia. It’s a big world out there,” he said.

And his goal for his 103rd year? “Live till next year,” he said with a grin.

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