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Eric Shackle's Column

By Eric Shackle

Death of a Truly Colorful Character

BBC News last month reported the death of Jean-Baptiste("Buster") Martin, a truly colorful character. I first wrote about him two years ago. That story is posted as a pencilstubs.com story, Will Buster Martin (102) Compete in Sydney Games?

"A London man who claimed to be the world's oldest marathon runner has died," said the BBC.

"Buster Martin said he was 101 when he ran the London Marathon in 2008.

"He was still working as a van cleaner at Pimlico Plumbers. His boss Charlie Mullins said: 'Buster sadly passed away last night at the age of 104.'

"Mr Martin was not awarded the Guinness World Record as the oldest person to complete a marathon after being unable to verify his age.

"He features in a film by American documentary-maker Mark Wexler being released in the US in May, called How to Live Forever.

"In a blog entry on London firm Pimlico Plumbers' website, managing director Charlie Mullins wrote: 'I can't believe it, only yesterday afternoon was he in the canteen knocking back one of Buster's beers, and now today he is gone. Buster certainly enjoyed life and was living life to the full right up until the end.'

"Several months after his marathon run, Mr Martin claimed to have been issued a passport with a date of birth verifying his age, after there were suggestions that he was 'only' 94.

"Guinness World Records were still not able to verify the record because of the absence of a birth certificate.

"Pimlico Plumbers said that Mr Martin completed the 2008 marathon in just under ten hours, and he raised 20,000 for charity.

"A biography on the website for the film that features Mr Martin, described him as 'Britain's oldest working man' and said he enjoyed 'a beer or two and 20 cigarettes daily.'"

Thursday, 26 May 2011
Posted at 23:08 by ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia.

Update on Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters in Palau

Tuesday, 10 May 2011
From ERIC SHACKLE in Sydney, Australia.

Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and his team of treasure hunters have reached Palau, one of the most remote places on earth. It's an island nation in the Pacific, about 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines, and 2000 miles (3200 km) south of Tokyo.

"If you have to be stuck somewhere, Palau is just the ticket," McIntyre says in his blog.

"Unfortunately it is a little more expensive than the Philippines. But the people are great."

In April 2008 McIntyre launched his new15.2m steel, 40 tonne ice strengthened expedition motor-sailer "ICE", following a three year, 50,000 man hour build in China. This new adventure ship is capable of going anywhere, has a 5000-mile range under power, carries comprehensive dive gear and its own Polaris Amphib flying boat for filming and exploration.

McIntyre intends to fly back to Australia on May 17, before taking off from Pelau on the first leg of the exciting voyage to Tonga.

You can follow the voyage by checking out the BlueTreasure blog.

Update on World Class Whistlers

Is Luke or Zach world's best whistler?

Sydney CEO Luke Janssen's claim to be the world's best whistler is being challenged by Zach Wade, a young student in the Missouri School of Journalism.

You can hear both of them on YouTube.

Which TV channel will be first to organise a world championship between the pair?

Luke Janssen is CEO and founder of TigerSpike, a technology driven personal media company. He took part in the 2004 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

You can hear (and see) his remarkable whistling style in this video:Luke Janssen.

And here at Zach Wade performs.


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