STORY OF: The day he crashed into an emu on his motorcycle
REX Heywood's life has had many memorable moments.
From marrying Ann, the love of his life, to welcoming his children, the Hervey Bay man, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this month, has a lot to look back on and plenty of fond memories.
But there's one that is unique and he remembers well - the day he crashed his new motorbike into an emu while riding around country Victoria.
Mr Heywood was born in a small village in Gippsland, Victoria, where his family owned a farm.
His father had been married twice and Mr Heywood had six half siblings as well as two siblings in his immediate family.
"Dad's first family were considerably older than me," he said.
Their busy life on the farm meant the family was somewhat sheltered from World War II.
"It didn't mean a lot to me," he said.
"My dad used to follow it pretty closely."
When his father died, Rex and his mum took over running the farm.
It was hard work, especially when it snowed in the winter.
His dad had been one of the original owners of the land.
Long before the invention of machinery made life easier, he milked 100 cows every day.
The family later went into grazing, fattening cows up before they went to market.
While the farm kept him busy, one of Mr Heywood's real joys in life was riding his motorcycle.
At 19 years of age, he took every chance he got to go riding in between his responsibilities.
"I used to rip and tear all over the place," he said.
"One Sunday I was having an enjoyable ride and, lo and behold, an emu came out and knocked me flying.
"I wasn't very pleased.
"It was my first brand new motorbike."
When he left the farm, Mr Heywood worked in an apple orchard, then drove a truck when the orchard was sold.
He met his first wife, Marge, at a dance, and they went on to have four daughters.
After the family's farm sold, he decided to move his family to Queensland.
He had an older brother who was always talking about Queensland and Mr Heywood knew if he ever left Victoria, it would be for the Sunshine State.
Mr Heywood's marriage broke down after the move but a few years later he met someone special.
Ann was from England and she was a school teacher.
They met at a dance, where they found they both had a keen interest in cars.
"We seemed to get on pretty well," Mr Heywood said.
Both were living at Maryborough's most famous home, Baddow House, which at the time was a boarding house.
After they fell in love the couple moved to Hervey Bay and purchased a block of land at Sunshine Acres, where they built their dream house.
The two have been married for 42 years.
On May 15, Ann was by her husband's side, along with two of his daughters and his sister, as he celebrated his 90th birthday.
The couple love living at their home, where they have raised many beloved dogs over the years.
They intend to stay at Sunshine Acres for as long as they can.