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SULTAN AZIZ CLAIMS TO BE OLDEST I MAN IN THE COMMONWEALTH; 113 YEARS AND IS STILL GOING STRONG
.^LAIMING to be the oldest man in the Commonwealth, Sul
tan Aziz, of the Afghan camp, North Broken Hill, says he was born in 1829. This make him 113 years of age. The death occurred recently of a man 109 in Victoria.
But Sultan Aziz is beginning to feel old. "God is look- ing for me, and I am looking for God," he said in an inter- view. -
"Five times every day I go to the church next to my home and five times everyx day I pray," Sultan said in giving his ..theory, for his long life. In spite of his years he can still: move about freely. He has a son, Abdul, 19 years of age, in the militia forces.
Proudest memory of all his years is the day he organised a camel race for the.late King George V. and Queen Mary on their visit to Australia.
A familiar figure about the ¡ Broken Hill streets in his spotless white tur- ban. Sultan can still move about freely and can claim as his friends some of the great men of the inland, including the late Sir Sidnev Kidman.
He was born in Afghanistan, but had a desire to see Australia so he came to this country in the ship .Warren and landed at Albany.
Soon after his arrival at Coolgardie .'(W.A.), Sultan Aziz took up a job driving camels. He worked for several owners for two years and then pur- chased his own team of 10 camels. In latter years that grew to more .than 100 at times.
Sultan recalled that when he first arrived in Coolgardie there was no suggestion of the great future, ahead of the place, which had not then been discovered as a gold min- ing area. He often drove his team through,the area.
Later he- saw it rise from a place of tents to a town of tin shanties and later to a growing industrial centre.
CAMEL-RACE FOR ROYALTY
. He proudly told of the visit of . King George arid Queen Mary. "Everybody was making fun" to make the King and his Queen laugh, but I couldn't do much. X got -my camels and made them race.-Others joined in," Sultan said.
_ Bardi was the name of the camel
?which won the race and this animal with its proud owner. Sultan himself, were called before the King.
Sultan" had a good sense of whát was business even in his early^days of camel driving, and recalled that he sometimes sold camels for £50 each "in the good days." He would then buy new animals, teach them to travel in "trains" and carry loads' and then sell. them again at a big margin. .
Broken Hill was also young when he obtained a contract to Dring stores to this district. Later he became asso- ciated with Sir Sidney Kidman and other well known identities * of the in- land. He has travelled thousands of miles in the inland carting : stores to stations - and towns.
I CONSTANT PRAYER *
Sultan, even on these long treks, continued to .offer- his daily prayers to God. he said. He also carted for Wood Sons. ., ?
When he became too old for carting in the bush he decided to, remain in the cities for the rest of his life. He confessed he lost his way if he did not take' notice of guiding buildings, etc., and go home the same way as
he came. 1
As late as 1933 he was spending his time with camels giving rides to children on Victorian beaches. He has credentials still which were given to him at the various Victorian resorts.
. In spite of his years, 'however. Sultan'still. hones to revisit the land of his birth. He has received seve-
ral letters from a brother there.- but . does not like letter writing, and has», written few letters. But for the war he would have returned to his home a few months ago. . ~
Sultan is known locally as the "last of the camel kings." . He is now" the caretaker of the little Moslem church where he worships. He has-had seve¿ ral. serious illnesses, but in spite of
these he always managed to reach the ? church for his periods of prayer and 1 reading. This he claims is the only way to cui*e all his illnesses.
Sultan never had any desire to own 1 a motor car; although he rides regu- , larly in buses. He considers the day ,
of the camel in Australia has passed. JJ
For a pastime he now cares for fowls.
- His son, Pte. Abdul Aziz, now "in Sydney, was. educated at- Broken Hill schools and" also ' iii Victoria.
So Sultan . Aziz, old, but happy in his faith that God is seeking him and that he is seeking his : tíod, keeps his vigil in his little church. When he dies he will carry with him. many secrets . about his religion, his, long life and the * early days of the inland areas of ' Australia. -' .' '