Sitting on his couch in his family home where he has lived alone for upward of 15 years, Louis Pagé let out a laugh thinking about how his friends and family consistently check in to “make sure that I’m still alive.”

“I forget about my age until somebody reminds me,” Pagé said with a chuckle. “All the neighbours are good to me.”

On Feb. 22, he celebrated his 100th birthday with a party of 70 neighbours and friends. But the native of Brome Lake, Que., in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, says he has no plans to slow down.

He’s been working with the Brome Lake Food Bank since the 1980s and later became the treasurer. Pagé has also been involved with Meals on Wheels and says he’s still available to deliver food, if needed.

A fixture of his community, Pagé says he plans on continuing his volunteer work — until he can’t.

“It gets me out … Sometimes you meet people and you have a little visit and I enjoy it,” said Pagé.

A man sit sin a chair olding a cupcake with a candle on it. Behind him are birthday balloons and a birthday cake with a numbered birthday candle.
About 70 neighbours and friends showed up to celebrate Pagé’s birthday last month. He says he has a good community of people who support him and check in on him. (Submitted by Gary Crandall)

Gary Crandall, who’s the co-ordinator at the food bank and Meals on Wheels in Lac Brome and West Bolton and also Pagé’s neighbour and cousin, says Pagé also took on the treasurer’s role in the 90s.

“He keeps a mean set of books, let me tell you, And every cent is accounted for and the bills come in and they’re paid pronto. There’s no fooling around.”

‘Here he is at 100, delivering meals,’ says neighbour

Crandall says Pagé is certainly their oldest driver and has been willing to drive farther than some other volunteers.

He says sometimes, Pagé’s age has come as a surprise to some elderly clients — many of whom are actually quite a bit younger than him.

“They laugh at him quite a bit because here he is at 100, delivering meals to these other people,” said Crandall.

He says approaching his birthday, Pagé got a bit nervous about renewing his licence — he had to take a medical exam and have his eyesight tested a month before his 100th birthday.

“The doctor said in spite of my age I can still drive,” said Pagé.

He says his days generally consist of reading the paper, stopping by the bank to make deposits for the food bank and balancing the books — all by hand.

“I enjoy it because I enjoy handling somebody else’s money,” said Pagé with a chuckle. “One of these days, unfortunately, I’ll have to give it up.”

He says his treasurer role gives him purpose especially as the organization aims to serve people in the townships who are elderly, sick, or alone.

“It helps a lot of people,” said Pagé. “Keeps me busy.”

LISTEN | Louis Pagé says volunteering keeps him engaged with his community:

Quebec AM9:05Volunteering at 100 years old

<p>Louis Pagé started volunteering with his local food bank when he retired in the 1980s, and he hasn’t stopped. In the lead up to his 100th birthday, Pagé and program coordinator Gary Crandall share some of what keeps a person involved in helping the community as they age.</p>

Aida Wilms, 82, helped organize a surprise party for Pagé with friends and neighbours in a room at the local convenience store on Feb. 22.

Wilms was best friends with Pagé’s wife until she died. Wilms, who is also widowed, says now she and Pagé look out for each other.

She says Pagé has always been a support, ever since she first arrived in Canada from the Philippines, 40 years ago.

“He always helped me,” said Wilms.

Reflecting on her own age, Wilms laughed thinking about Pagé’s achievement.

“I’m not going to have a letter from the Governor General or King Charles III,” chuckled Wilms. “I don’t think I could reach 100.”

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