Life Advice From Adelaide’s Elders – Kana, 79

There are two certainties in life: we are born and we die. How we choose to spend the years in between is up to us. We caught up with South Australians who are proud of the lines on their face and got some life advice – from the people who know best.

Life Advice From Adelaide's Elders

Kana Nathan, 79

There’s an energy about Kana Nathan. It emanates from his eyes as he sets up for the Burnside Seniors Fit and Fabulous classes he’s run as a volunteer for 10 years. At two dollars a pop they’re the hottest ticket in town. “We have a waiting list,” Kana says. Over 60 people take part, including three 91 year olds. “I used to be in the Malaysian military so I keep them in order and I’m not afraid to name and shame.” He chuckles. “They love it!”

I used to be in the Malaysian military so I keep them in order and I’m not afraid to name and shame.

Kana was born in Malaysia where he was a teacher, and moved to Australia on Australia Day 1973. “I came with my wife and two children.” He dived into chiropractic studies after bad back issues and went on to lecture at UniSA as a chiropractor. He battled his share of health challenges including a detached retina, a minor stroke and an aneurism in his heart. Despite the setbacks he competed in the 75 to 79-year age group at the Seventh Sabah Masters Athletic Championship in Southeast Asia. “Life is movement,” he says. “The minute you stop, you’re going in [the ground].” Kana loves to talk but there’s one word you’ll never hear him say. “I never like to use the word old. That’s got a bad connotation. I always tell them we are mature people.”

Life according to Kana

In life, you’ve got to give. Not expect to take. That’s part of the Hindu philosophy. If you do something for someone, don’t expect them to pay for it.

 Read about our other Adelaide elders including Irene, 101 and Iain, 75.

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