Julia Riseley of Swansea met James "Doug" Douglas Cunningham on one of his renowned walks through the lakeside suburb.
"Doug walked every day in his cap and his backpack. I couldn't believe his age," Ms Riseley said.
"He walked up the main street, to the library and cafe. He was beloved at the library.
"If there was ever a group of ladies, it was most likely he was in the middle of them."
"That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me," Mr Cunningham chuckled. "I was friendly."
The centenarian had to stop his wanderings after suffering from heart problems two years ago, but he has held onto the friendships.
Around 80 Swansea residents celebrated Mr Cunningham's 102nd birthday at the town's RSL club on Friday.
Mr Cunningham, originally from Leeds, was treated to a Yorkshire "pud".
The local personality began his life travels in 1937, when he enlisted in the British Army.
Mr Cunningham was originally posted to the Royal Tank Corps but went onto serve in the Royal Army Pay Corps.
He worked in Britain, South Africa, India and Sierra Leone and was made a sergeant by the age of 24.
He met his lifelong partner, Patricia, while serving. She was also a sergeant - in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's branch of the British Army.
The pair married in 1945 when Mr Cunningham was 28 and Patricia was 24. Mr Cunningham was discharged from the army a year later with an "exemplary" record.
He says the move to Australia was his wife's idea.
"She always wanted to travel. I said we can go wherever you like.
"I was surprised when she said Australia. She was keen as mustard!"
The couple migrated to Australia with their four-year-old son Terence in 1955.
They worked on a large sheep property in Brewarrina, in north NSW, where they stayed for many years.
"We enjoyed it," Mr Cunningham said.
The couple then moved to Sydney where Mr Cunningham worked at Fairfax in Broadway, eventually becoming head of accounts.
Mrs Cunningham worked in the picture library and as an editorial researcher for the company's publications.
The couple retired to Swansea roughly thirty years ago after living in the Blue Mountains.
Mrs Cunningham passed away in 2001.
The pair shared a passion for writing and reading throughout their years together. Mr Cunningham has penned his own memoirs and several short stories.
"I've got other books in my nozzle I still want to write," he said.
Mr Cunningham turns 102 on Saturday.