Floyd Smith sits in his kitchen on his 99th birthday on June 28.

Floyd Smith sits in his kitchen on his 99th birthday on June 28.

Celebrating 99

Floyd Smith of Port Hardy turned 99 in late June, a feat he attributes to clean living

Floyd Smith drives a vehicle, likes to garden, ride his lawnmower, split his own wood, and until about five years ago was a working man. Floyd Smith was also born in 1916.

The Storey’s Beach resident, celebrated his 99th birthday on June 28.

Neighbour and friend Heather Davey describes him as “a hardworking, God-fearing family man.”

When Davey first moved into the neighbourhood, she was in her driveway with her car hood up trying to figure out a problem.

Smith walked right over, introduced himself and proceeded to help out.

Articulate and with sharp wit, Smith says that out of everything he has accomplished in his life, he is most proud of his family and his involvement with his Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Like many others who grew up during the Great Depression, he was working from a young age and completed a Grade 8 education. He highly values education and learning, and is proud he was able to send his six children to private schools and the diverse professions they have pursued. This passion for education has also inspired Smith to help fund schools in India.

When he was a young man Smith was bucked off a bull, blowing out the cartilage of his fifth lumbar vertebra.

Despite lifelong pain from this injury, Smith has had a long career in logging and also running his own sawmills, including his own North Island operation which he retired from at age 94. “I’ve done it all,” he says.

His independence is extremely important to him. He lives in his own house near the beach and several of his children who live close by help to take care of him, including daughter Wilma Rafuse.

Smith was born to homesteader parents in Saskatchewan and in his childhood moved to Iowa, Colorado and back to Canada. He spent much of his childhood in Northern Saskatchewan, where he began working with wood. Smith met his wife in Rocky Mountain House, and the two got married on their way to McBride. It was their first time seeing the Rocky Mountains.

They went onto live in Kelowna and Sicamous before settling for 38 years in Armstrong. He moved to Port Hardy about 20 years ago.

Smith eats a mostly vegetarian diet, except for salmon on occasion.

He likes porridge for breakfast, does not drink alcohol, and says that in his life he has probably had a few dozen cups of coffee and a few dozen cigarettes – all before age 18.

“Clean living is the best bargain in the world,” he says.

 

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