Plenty of exercise, laughter and “a good sheila” are Eric Johnston’s secrets to a long life.

Mr Johnston, who celebrated his 100th birthday at the Werribee RSL on Saturday, was married to his beloved wife Vera for 73 years before she died four years ago.

Together, the couple have five children, 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Mr Johnston married Vera a few months before being deployed as part of the Australian Army, 8th Division, 6th Signals and F Force in World War II.

He was captured by the Japanese, held as a prisoner of war in Changi and worked on the Thai-Burma railway.

Mr Johnston with his great-granddaughter Mia, aged three. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

Upon returning to Australia, he became a member of the RSL and worked for the Forestry Commission.

After moving to Wyndham Vale more than two decades ago, Mr Johnston became a volunteer at the Victorian State Rose Garden.

A keen sportsman, he played golf, lawn bowls, football and cricket.

A resident of the Uniting AgeWell’s Manor Lakes Community, he still enjoys singing, dancing and growing tomatoes.

Mr Johnston’s family also describe him as “a mad Collingwood supporter”.