LOCAL LEGEND: Senior Citizens Club exercise instructor Frank Peel.
LOCAL LEGEND: Senior Citizens Club exercise instructor Frank Peel. Jodie Callcott

Frank, 84, retiring after 19-years as fitness instructor

The Hervey Bay Senior Citizens Club will bid farewell to their long-standing fitness instructor Frank Peel when he retires from the role at the end of the year.

Mr Peel has his family home of 52 years on the market and plans to move to the Sunshine Coast to be closer to his daughter.

Described by his general practitioner to have the blood pressure of a 15-year-old, Mr Peel has been the club's fitness instructor for the past 19 years.

"They asked me to fill in until they could find another instructor and they couldn't get anybody to do it," Mr Peel said.

"They said, 'Frank you can do it', and I said, 'no I can't', and they said, 'yes you can, or just for a little while'.

"I said I'd do it temporarily which I'm still doing temporarily.

"The oldest member that I know of is 94 and they go right down to their early sixties.

"There's a very wide range of people who come to exercise class and they're all beautiful people," he said.

Mr Peel came to Australia in the 1950s and lived at Childers until 1963, before moving to his current house at Scarness.

"I was a locomotive driver for about ten years," Mr Peel said.

"My wife and I at the time were in Childers, she had a job at the TAB and a TAB position became vacant here so she applied for the job and got it.

"I used to come down of a weekend for quite a while because they were short of loco drivers at the time.

"Then in 1969 they asked me to manage the TAB at Pialba, so I did that for 21 years," he said.

Mr Peel described himself to be in "good health" and said his secret was getting up early every day and walking his dog Liberty, who has since passed.

"Get up at five o'clock every morning and spend the best part of your day with your dog, walking down to the beach.

"I don't go now because I lost my dogs and I didn't want to buy another one, it's too hard to lose them.

"I have a friend that has a dog and he visits here Thursday mornings and brings his dog and I go to his place on a Saturday mornings, so I've still sort of got a dog," he said.

Mr Peel described Hervey Bay as a beautiful place with really nice people and said he will miss everything when he makes the move down south.

"I'm going to miss everything," Mr Peel said.

"I've got really nice friends, I'm going to miss this house, it's in a really great position, I get a lovely breeze all the time.

"It's a beautiful place here and it's handy to everywhere.

"One thing I like about Hervey Bay is you don't have to go very far to get anywhere," he said.

For more information about the low-impact exercise class held at the Hervey Bay Senior Citizens Club, contact 41284837.