Glyn Jones’ family is pretty average, when it comes to aging. Yet, there are a couple of notable exceptions.
Jones, who turned 103 years old on June 22, says his oldest sister lived to be 104 and his father lived to age 90. Otherwise, he continued, his extended family lived to typical old ages. Nothing too special.
He said the fact he had lived so long can be attributed to a couple of things — genetics and his willingness most of his life to go with the flow.
“I think I drifted through life. I went with the flow,” Jones said from a comfortable chair at The Peninsula seniors living facility in Sidney.
“I try not to make a lot of plans for myself these days, you know, other than the odd doctor’s appointment or things like that.”
He said for much of his life, he took what came with a positive attitude and has been lucky enough not to have had any really serious illnesses along the way.
But if you think Jones just drifted through life, think again.
Born in South Wales, he emigrated to Canada in 1928 at the age of 18. He was a trained wireless operator, but left the United Kingdom to find work. He landed a job in Halifax with the Atlantic Ferry Organization, a civilian organization tasked with flying aircraft to various locations in the U.K. By 1941, during the Second World War, it became the Royal Air Force AFO (still manned mostly by civilians), ferrying new aircraft to various locations around the world. A radio operator, Jones flew with crews bound for Prestwick, Scotland and as far afield as Karachi, India. That long trip would take Jones to places like Gander, Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Azores, Morocco, east Africa and various stops in India.
Following the war, Jones would have a contract with Air France which took him to live in California. He would later land a job with Lockheed, staying with them for nearly 30 yeas and marrying his wife, Ruth. When he retired from Lockheed, Jones was an electrical engineer for the company’s missile and space division.
Retirement brought him and Ruth to Sidney, where they settled in to enjoy their free time. Ruth has since passed away but Jones still looks fondly on their years together.
He said he was also lucky enough to know someone who was from the Saanich Peninsula, who he met during his years with the RAF AFO.
“I met Roy Tidman when I came to Canada. I was the same age as him. The same day and year. We were friends ever since, until he died a couple of years ago.”
Tidman was part of the family-owned company, Tidman Construction which build Jones’ current home, The Peninsula at Norgarden.
“I couldn’t have done any better,” Jones said of his new home in Sidney. “I landed on my two feet in this place.”
Jones encourages people, if they want to have a good life and enjoy whatever comes their way, to smile a lot, laugh and try to keep positive.”There are a bunch of us here and we’re known as the loud table at dinner. But we’re just talking and laughing.”
He might say he drifted through life, but Jones certainly drifted into some pretty interesting jobs and places throughout his 103 years.