Avid tramper ‘one of the lucky ones’.

Doug Moir, of Mosgiel, enjoys dancing, piping and tramping. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

On the eve of his 91st birthday, Mosgiel man Doug Moir is vowing to continue to dance, pipe and tramp.

In 1989, as his retirement as a builder neared, he joined the Mosgiel Recreational Tramping Club to keep active.

Often a builder’s body packed in as they got older but his was allowing him to continue a range of activities, Mr Moir said.

“I was one of the lucky ones.

“I do have a few back niggles but that’s what the rooster got too,” he said laughing, “but the niggles come and go, so you just keep moving.”

The tramping club was “prospering” and had nearly 100 members.

He was its oldest active member and went on weekly tramping expeditions to trails in Balclutha, Palmerston and Middlemarch and everywhere in between.

The hikes ranged between 5km and 15km.

Past expeditions included crossing rivers and climbing rock walls.

He began tramping as a teenager, “chasing rabbits for pocket money” in Palmerston, where he was born and raised.

Farmers would pay fourpence per rabbit caught.

He had been playing the bagpipes for 77 years and was a member of the Taieri Pipe Band until it entered recess last month.

He had arthritis in his fingers but could still play.

Now there was no band, he might need to start performing for his 19-year-old cat Minnie, he said laughing.

In February, the Scottish Grand Lodge, the governing body of Freemasonry in Scotland, presented him with an honorary piper’s jewel for 50 years’ performing piping duties at Masonic activities in Dunedin.

He was also a keen dancer, and was an active member of the South Dunedin Dance Group, Taieri Scottish Society in Mosgiel and the Dunedin Scottish Society in Fairfield.

The dancing styles performed were mostly “old time and ballroom, with the odd new one to keep the braining ticking over”.

He planned to celebrate his 91st birthday – on July 29 – with family.