Coffee at the Hilton Imperial Hotel in Dubrovnik was extra special today thanks to Jerko Kovac celbrating his 100th birthday.According to the centenarian (whose birthday is actually March 13th), he was born a little cowboy in Hercegovina a century ago and has done the most menial of jobs as well as rubbed shoulders with aristocracy in his time.
The wonderfully youthful Jerko is the world’s oldest active bridge player and enjoys a game of golf and chess too. One of twelve children he moved to Dubrovnik in 1930 from his village in Hercegovina and began working in a watch shop in the Old Town.
At the end of World War Two with the formation of Yugoslavia underTito, Jerko decided that he would move to America to start a new life. At his watch shop in Los Angeles Jerko fixed thousands of watches, including Bing Crosby’s.
Nowadays the centenarian splits his time between America and Dubrovnik where he spends six months a year. When he’s in Dubrovnik he like to drink coffee at the historic Hilton Imperial Hotel and so the staff did their best to make his first one in his second century a special one. A surprise birthday cake was specially made by the chef for Jerko, who was joined by his two daughters and four grandchildren.