When searching for the secret to a long life, one checks with the experts.
At 105 years old, Courtenay, B.C. resident Ken Dimond would be considered such an expert.
“The secret is to wake up every morning!
“I’ll tell you what it really is,” said Dimond, as he prepared for his 105th birthday celebrations at Casa Loma Seniors Village. “It’s because I’ve got a good hobby – model ship building.
“I’ve been trying to do them here (Casa Loma) but somehow or other, I don’t seem to find enough time. I keep working at it, though.”
Dimond was born March 10, 1917 in Brandon, Man., but didn’t stick around for very long.
“I stayed there for two weeks, but didn’t like it,” he quipped.
He grew up in Stoughton, Sask. and remained on the prairies for most of his career as a machine fitter.
He retired in Flin Flon at the age of 65, in 1982.
He’s a recent addition to the Comox Valley, having moved into Casa Loma 14 months ago, from Maple Ridge, B.C., where he spent the previous 25 years of his life.
He and his late wife, Pearl, raised two children – Roy, and Marjorie.
His move brings Dimond close to his grandchildren – Marjorie’s children. His grandson, Eric Staal, lives in Cumberland, and his granddaughter, Christina Goldsztajn, lives in Comox.
“He was always meant to live this long, but I think this has helped keep him healthy and mobile and safe,” said Goldsztajn, who has a favourite childhood memory of ‘grandpa.’
“He used to pick me up after school – he was my caregiver during the week, and he used to let me tell him where to turn, in the car. Sometimes I would just make him drive mindlessly forever, because I liked sitting in his Mustang with him, cruising. He never complained, and then he gave me that Mustang for my birthday when I turned 20.”
Staal said Dimond gave him an appreciation of nature.
“Going for walks in the forests – that’s my fondest memory,” said Staal. “He would take me out all the time exploring the different parks around the Lower Mainland. That was very formative for me and it’s still what I love to do today.
“It’s wonderful (to have him close by.)”
Dimond is an inspiration to both tenants and staff at Casa Loma.
“His two mottos in life are, ‘You gotta get going to keep going,” and, ‘Don’t worry, don’t hurry, be happy,’” said Casa Loma community relations manager, Miranda Sorenson. “He keeps his body young with lots and lots of walking. He says there is no better way to make friends than by walking with them.”