A day away from 100th birthday, this N.S. man still volunteers with his local fire department
NEIL'S HARBOUR, N.S. -- Ron Ingram is one day away from his 100th birthday, but age is just a number for the active volunteer firefighter.
The Neil’s Harbour, N.S., resident was a fisherman until the age of 76. His granddaughter, Shannon Ingraham, says a clean diet is the key to his long life.
“He’s worked hard. He’s eaten all food that he has grown, hunted, fished, or, in some way, pickled, bottled. He’s eaten no processed food in his life,” says Shannon.
However, Ron credits something a little stiffer for keeping him happy and healthy.
“I drink a good drop of rum. I never used to get drunk, but I like a good drink of rum,” he says.
Ron started with the Neil’s Harbour/New Haven volunteer fire department when it opened in 1972. Nearly half a century later, Ron is no longer fighting fires, but he still attends meetings and helps to head-up the department’s popular fish-and-chip suppers.
“Anything that was going, I was into it. I liked to be helping out,” says Ron.
“I and another fella makes all the chips. He feeds the chip machine and I cuts them up.”
For 33 of Ron's years with the fire department, he volunteered alongside good friend Billy Hogan.
“When most people are getting ready to retire, he was just getting started. So that makes him one in a million,” says Billy.
Now, Ron's preparing to celebrate his 100th birthday on Saturday. When it's time to party, the birthday boy will be surrounded by family and friends, who will maintain a safe distance.
For a man who's led such a long and rich life, marking a major milestone during a global pandemic seems like yet another adventure.