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100 years old and counting
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100 years old and counting Featured

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Jim Gates is living proof that well done is better than well said.

Sitting in his room at Carveth Retirement Lodge where he moved two weeks earlier in the fall of 2023, the friendly man talks with a vigour that matches his good health at 100.

Born in January 1923 on land that is now called Grass Creek Park in Pittsburgh Township outside Kingston, Jim smiles when asked about the secret of his long and healthy life.  “There’s things I can’t tell you,” he says with a smile. “I don’t think you want to know that.”

Jim’s laughter fills the room and echoes down the hallway. When pressed for a proper answer, he admits he’s not qualified to give advice because he ‘drank a little and smoked a lot’ in his lifetime. “My daughter would say I drank a little too much,” he adds, thoughtfully.

Pausing slightly, he admits, “I always worked.”

Taking a deep breath, he recounts farming most of his life and partnering with his brother-in-law in 1945/46 to build a tourism resort called Pitts Ferry Lodge at the Howe Island Ferry. Shortly after that, he started his career with the Ontario Government’s Department of Highways.

“I always enjoyed it,” Jim says about his work operating heavy equipment such as graders, backhoes and snowploughs. “Everything they had; I drove.”

Jim retired around 1980 and moved to Gananoque in 1982. He filled his time fixing Massey Ferguson and Ford tractors, and old cars such as a 1930 Model A Ford.

Jim has a daughter, two grandchildren and six great, great grandchildren. Longevity runs in his mother’s side of the family. She lived to almost 106.

Jim doesn’t watch TV, but enjoys a radio that sits beside his chair. There is a walker beside his neatly made bed and a bag of candies on a side table. The day is cool which prompts him to wear a warm flannel shirt.

As a new resident of Carveth Retirement Lodge, Jim is enjoying the delicious homemade meals and long naps.

“Jim is a true gentleman,” says Phyllis Lorbetskie, Manager of Carveth Retirement Lodge. “New to us here in the lodge, he has proven to be very adaptable to change. Jim has a warm laugh and great spirit.”

Pleased with the feedback, Jim notes, “I think I’m in pretty good condition for my age. I can eat most anything.”

Although Jim has worked hard at many jobs over his lifetime, he also found time to travel across Canada and different parts of the United States. He enjoyed seeing new places and meeting new people.

Careful not to offer unsolicited advice, when pressed, he has this wisdom to pass on to people younger than him: “If you want to get ahead, you have to work hard.”

Carveth Care Centre is proud to support and celebrate the good health of seniors such as Jim Gates who is a happy centenarian. To learn more about living or working in our home, please call 613-382-4752.

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