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Local Bloke – Hersz ‘Henry’ Friedman

By James Hutton on February 3, 2015 in People

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

Bondi resident Hersz ‘Henry’ Friedman is 95 years old and speaks four languages. He is a highly skilled tailor and used this ability to get through the tough times of the Second World War. Henry shares his local favourites with The Beast…

How long have you lived here?
For 55 years. I am now 95 years young and arrived in Sydney from Poland in 1959.

What’s your favourite beach?
Bondi Beach. I have walked the promenade practically every morning for the last 30 years, weather permitting of course. The smell of the ocean and seeing friendly faces makes me happy. I love to talk to people along the way. Sometimes I talk in four different languages, depending on which friends
I meet, which really sums up Bondi Beach pretty well.

What’s your favourite eatery?
At home, but if I go out, I enjoy eating at Club Bondi Junction or the Diggers at North Bondi.

Where do you like to have a drink?
In the same places: home, Club Bondi Junction and the North Bondi Diggers are just as good for a drink.

Do you have a favourite sporting team?
I am a life member of Souths Juniors, so it is definitely the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

What music are you into at the moment?
I love traditional folk music.

Who is your favourite person?
Only one person? I love everybody, especially my family. I have three children, five grandchildren and one great grandson, and I love them all.

What do you get up to on the weekends?
Since I retired it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s the weekend or a weekday. I like to make lunch on Sundays for my kids and grandchildren. They all fight over my potato salad and Polish salad. They say it’s delicious, so I’ll take that.

What do you do for work?
I’m retired now but I used to be a tailor. I now do housework and cooking.

What’s your favourite thing about work?
I don’t know about my favourite thing, but during the Second World War, my skills as a tailor helped me get through some tough times, so I was very grateful for my profession and it helped me a lot.

Do you have a favourite quote?
When I walk in the morning, I like to say to the friends that I meet, “I’m still here!” That’s my favourite line.

Any other words of wisdom for readers of The Beast?
I wish everyone to be happy and healthy, and enjoy a long life. Don’t forget to smile!