Len Dixon is a 101-year-old Adelaide man who has recently had his writing career of over 50 years taken from him.
The centenarian, who hails from England, was Canberra Times’ bridge columnist – diligently providing his copy almost every week since 1968.
But Len has since been sacked from his regular gig, possibly making him the oldest person in the country to be laid off.
“I know of no older person to have gotten the sack,” Len told ABC Radio Adelaide.
Having been involved in the early days of computing, Len was one of the people who got selected to introduce information technology (IT) to the world, which saw him plant his roots in Australia.
“In fact, but for [IT], I’d have probably never come to Australia,” he said.
So how did his passion for IT turn into writing for a regular newspaper column? Well, it started off as a hobby during WWII.
“I was asked to submit a sample column to the paper and the paper thought it was good enough to publish,” Len explained. And the rest was history.
Serving in the airforce as a radar operator in England, Len was earmarked to travel to Singapore in 1942 when the ship was delayed and was stuck in Liverpool harbour for some time.
“I bought a copy of the leading bridge book at that time which was Ely Culbertson’s golden book [Contract bridge complete; the gold book of bidding and play] and a group of us, in effect, taught ourselves bridge,” Len said.
“It’s a particularly interesting game. All sorts of people take it up – it’s a sufficiently challenging game.”
In 1965, Len was the tournament director at the inaugural Australia Day Congress which eventually became the Summer Festival of Bridge in Canberra, a major event on the Australian Bridge Federation’s annual calendar.
Learn more about Len and his history with bridge here.