Claude Davidson didn't let a lack of breath stop him from blowing out his 103 birthday candles.
Flanked by two firemen armed with fire extinguishers (just in case) Davidson took a leaf blower to the enormous cake.
Wednesday was a day of trademark celebration for the irreverent Davidson, who was joined at the Heretaunga Seniors Hall in Mayfair by fellow Heretaunga Seniors members and family for the party, the day before he officially turns 103.
It's a birthday his youngest son Leon Davidson says they never thought they'd be celebrating.
At 88 Davidson was in intensive care, Leon began making preparations and got in touch with a chaplain, but after a blood transfusion he survived.
He said his father wouldn't have been able to make it this long without his mother Joan who passed away six years ago.
Wife Joan was "the mainstay of the family", Davidson said.
"Everyone did what she said, I only went out and brought the money home."
But before Joan, Claude was "pretty wild" and "just as bad" as kids today, the man of many anecdotes reckons.
"To get into the dance hall you'd have to go up the fire escape at the back, go over the roof of assembly hall, you'd drop down onto the veranda and go and open the back door and all the people would come in and the joker taking tickets at the door couldn't understand why the hall filled up and he hadn't taken so many tickets."
Cars have changed in his time and Davidson recalls an early car of his was a three-pedal Ford Model T.
"The left [pedal] was low gear, the second one was reverse and the other one was a brake and if you were going flat out and you got into a tight corner you put your foot sideways along all three at once."
But once he met Joan, he knew family life was the way to go and they married when he was 20.
They had four sons, seven grandchildren, about 17 great-grandchildren and a handful of great-great-grandchildren.
"I've got a great family and that's where my wealth is, in my family because money is nothing."
Leon said Davidson was a "fantastic" father.
"I'd look out the window at nine at night and he'd be fixing cars. He says he hasn't got a brain but I tell you what, his hands were always going."
He also mows his own lawn but says every time he gets the mower out his neighbours will drop everything to come and help him.
Davidson lives alone, but says he gets a lot of visitors and a cleaner comes five times a week "to see I'm still alive".
Since 99 he has been telling people 103 will be his last birthday as despite still driving short distances to Havelock North and mowing his lawns, he is getting a bit worn out.
But he refuses to use a trolley as "they're for old people".
Keeping up with the technology that has rapidly developed in his life, he is now onto his third iPad.
Davidson started work at age 14, and worked in a number of factory and managerial jobs including at Unilever and Wattie's, and said he has always had good bosses.
"Everybody in my life has helped me."
He doesn't have a secret to long life, but his wife always cooked "good food", and he's learnt that you should "be reasonable with everybody".
"Don't do anything to anybody else that you wouldn't do yourself, and that's what I did all through my [career] management and everything, I try to help people."