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Australian WWII veteran Phil Hodgson refuses to retire and spends his time building toys

Meet Australian WWII veteran, 102, who refuses to retire and instead spends his time working in a toy store

  • 102-year-old WW2 veteran refuses to retire after several colorful careers
  • Phil Hodgson worked as a barber, salesman and served in World War II
  • Veteran now builds and repairs small wooden furniture for children’s dollhouses
  • His 79-year-old son has retired, while the 102-year-old refuses to hang up his boots

A 102-year-old WWII veteran who stubbornly refuses to retire has proven it’s never too late for a career switch.

Phil Hodgson spent most of his life as a barber and salesman, fighting for Australia in World War II.

But he decided to postpone retirement to explore his passion for woodworking and have been making and repairing children’s toys for over 15 years.

The centenarian builds small chairs, tables and doll houses with his colleagues at the Sutherland Shire Toy Restoration Center in southern Sydney.

Phil Hodgson (pictured) spent most of his life working as a hairdresser and then a sales representative, fighting for Australia in WWII before turning his attention to toy making

Mr. Hodgson’s 79-year-old son decided to retire despite his father’s refusal to hang up his tools after several colorful careers.

His beloved wife Nancy died five years ago and he now lives alone.

‘What (would) I do differently? What would you do? I wouldn’t watch television,” Mr Hodgson said A current matter

The 102-year-old started out as a hairdresser in 1934, before trying his luck as a salesman.

When his career was interrupted by World War II, he served for several years before enjoying a short retirement at age 60.

Mr Hodgson expertly makes small wooden beds, chairs, toilets and even coat hangers for children who want to decorate their dollhouse

Mr Hodgson expertly makes small wooden beds, chairs, toilets and even coat hangers for children who want to decorate their dollhouse

Mr Hodgson's 79-year-old son has decided to retire despite his father's refusal to hang up his boots after several colorful careers (pictured, the war veteran celebrates his birthday)

Mr Hodgson’s 79-year-old son has decided to retire despite his father’s refusal to hang up his boots after several colorful careers (pictured, the war veteran celebrates his birthday)

He describes his small furniture as a “little bit of fun,” with boss Wendy warning the veteran not to retire without finding his replacement.

Mr Hodgson expertly makes small wooden beds, chairs, toilets and even hangers for children to decorate their doll houses.

The store’s profits are donated to charities and the store is run almost exclusively by older employees.

In 2021, the restoration center donated $27,000 to the local community.

When asked if he is enjoying his life, the vivacious veteran is resolute.

“Oh yes, I do that every day,” Mr. Hodgson said. ‘I have no complaints’.

The profits raised by the store are donated to charity, with the store being run almost exclusively by the efforts of the older employees (photo, some of the veteran's small furniture)

The profits raised by the store are donated to charity, with the store being run almost exclusively by the efforts of the older employees (photo, some of the veteran’s small furniture)

He describes his small furniture as a 'little fun' with boss Wendy warning that the veteran should not retire without finding his replacement (photo, camera crews at the toy store)

He describes his small furniture as a ‘little fun’ with boss Wendy warning that the veteran should not retire without finding his replacement (photo, camera crews at the toy store)

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