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- Dr. Bernard Ludwig
Obstetrician, gynecologist, lecturer, teacher, husband, father, grandfather. Born in 1922 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Bernard believes that aging begins at conception and continues throughout life. The earlier we become aware of our aging process, the better we will fare in out later years. Discipline is a key factor: overeating, lack of exercise, smoking and excess alcohol all hinder out ability to age well. Bernard says that exercising on regular basis, and eating correctly and monitoring our intake, can slow down the aging process. Although genetics play an important part in the process, he feels that habits of self-discipline can overshadow heredity.
- Dr. David Suzuki
Scientist, professor, speaker, environmentalist, human-rights activist. Officer of the Order of Canada, author, broadcaster, journalist, husband, father. Born in 1936 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
“Elders today are a living record of enormous change that has happened over the past century. They provide an important counter to the widespread notion that ‘newer is better’ and ‘more is best’. Traditions, community, family, these words have important meaning that elders know. A society that doesn’t treasure the knowledge, experience and wisdom of the elders is in trouble.”
- Fred Wylliam Dunn
Carpenter, peace activist, poet. Born in 1923 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Fred made his home in the Rosedale Ravine, off of the Bayview extention in Toronto. He constructed a small abode which had no electricity or running water. He named his home "Camp Goodwill".
Although Fred could have received Old Age Pension at age 65, he chose to be independent and not take money from the government.
Fred lived in his home for fourteen years until health conditions required that he move to an apartment.
Fred lived a life of creativity, freedom and dignity. He was a peace activist, poet and ardent jogger.
- Oscar Peterson
Jazz pianist, Companion to the Order of Canada, holder of numerous other awards, advocate for civil rights, photographer, husband, father, grandfather. Born in 1925 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Oscar is a very spiritual person. Family is also very important to him. While other musicians were turning to drugs to help them cope with life on the road, Oscar’s family teachings and values sustained him. His brief is that parents leave an impression on their children that time cannot erase. Oscar says people “can continue to make changes that allow them to adapt to the present and also they can take on new interests”. He believes that “it is important to be able to accept who you are day to day.” He adds, smiling, that he can still say what he needs to say musically.
- Ethel Raicus
Painter, designer, art instructor, past director of the Hebrew Department at Holy Blossom Temple, Jewish educator, editor, translator. Born in 1920 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It seems to Ethel that the adjective “old” is conferred upon people too freely, often unrelated to their perceptions of themselves or their ability to function. The skills and experiences acquired over a lifetime can make the later years the richest period in someone’s life.
- Mayor Hazel McCallion
Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, American Woman of the Year, holder of the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, feminist, social advocate, mother, grandmother. Born in 1921, in Port Daniel, Quebec, Canada. A tremendous amount of Hazel’s personal satisfaction comes from helping other people. But she also strongly believes that people should empower themselves by being as self-reliant as possible, taking responsibility for their mental and physical health. Her philosophy can best be summed us as “If you give the best to what you do, the best will come back to you.”
- Swami Pramathananda
Spiritual leader, writer, lecturer. Born in 1920 in Calcutta, India. Adherents to the Veranda philosophy believe that love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries; without love and compassion, humanity cannot survive. They believe not only in universal tolerance but also in the acceptance of all religions as being true; thus love for your own religion does not have to mean hatred of other religions. Further, the swami explains, they believe that sectarianism, bigotry and bigotry’s horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed the beautiful earth. These bitter feelings have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often with human blood, destroyed civilizations and sent whole nations into despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, he says, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.
- June Callwood
Author, journalist, broadcaster, Companion to the Order of Canada, recipient of the Order of Ontario, member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame, social activist, speaker, wife, mother, grandmother. Born in 1924 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. “I rejoiced in the opportunity to show the wrinkled face of a truly old woman. An aged man who hosts a television show is considered distinguished, but an aged woman seems to incite derision. Old women appear on television mainly as props in commercials about tea or dentures. I hoped my wreathed face and sagging jaw line would make it easier for other old women to surmount the barriers.
- Jean Vanier
Philosopher and social visionary, author, Companion of the Order of Canada, member of the Legion of Honour (France), holder of the International Pease Award (Community of Christ), Pope Paul VI International Prize, Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut Humanitarian Award. Born in 1928 in Geneva, Switzerland. In his book Becoming Human, Vanier wrote “All humans are sacred… Each of us has an instrument to bring to the vast orchestra of humanity, and each of us needs help to become all that we night be.” A man of deep and abiding faith, he believes in the transforming power of friendship and love: to reveal, to understand, to empower and to forgive.