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Thursday, 30 December, 1999, 17:01 GMT
Student, 107, is still learning

Malcolm Wicks and Fred Moore Malcolm Wicks talks to Fred Moore about his artwork


The man who is possibly Britain's oldest student at the age of 107 has been hailed as an example to the nation by Lifelong Learning Minister Malcolm Wicks.

Mr Wicks paid a visit to Fred Moore at his daughter's home near Newton Abbot, Devon, in recognition of his achievement.

Mr Moore, who lives in New Milton, Hampshire, has been attending art classes in the town once a week for more than 25 years.

In an earlier interview, Mr Moore put his longevity down to fate, saying: "I just think that when God sent me down to earth, he said 'This one will have a long life, but he will have no money'. He was about right."

Self-confidence

Research due to be published next month shows that of more than 300 people aged 50 to 71 interviewed about continuing education, more than half said it boosted their enjoyment of life and self-confidence.

Mr Moore said: "I go to the class every Tuesday. My teacher is a very nice lady and I thoroughly enjoy it. I wouldn't give it up for anything.


Fred Moore painting Fred Moore has attended art classes for more than 25 years
"I don't think about my age. I just enjoy producing art. It saved my life when my wife died a couple of years ago. Instead of sitting down and crying about it, I just decided to get on with my art."

Mr Wicks said Mr Moore was among a select band of people whose learning spanned three centuries.

"He would have started learning, no doubt, at his mother's knee in the 19th Century," he said.

"The history of education in the 20th Century has been about the expansion of the state education of children.

"The coming century will see that emphasis on the education of children complemented by a growing awareness of the significance of lifelong learning.

"No-one can afford to stop learning when they leave school. In order to maintain their employability, people will need to keep learning at different stages through their lives.

"But people like Fred show that lifelong learning is not only important for work. Education is about creative and enjoyable leisure as well.

"Fred may or may not be the oldest lifelong learner in Britain, but he is an example to us all."

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See also:
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15 Jul 99 |  Education
Adults returning to learning
21 Sep 99 |  Education
Pensioner struggles with university fees

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