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Centenarian weighs in on life

By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Nov 08, 2012 - 1:12 PM |
Bernard 'Barney' Weight celebrated his 100th birthday Nov. 7. The Finlandia Village resident blew out candles on his cake with help of family, friends and staff at the village. Supplied photo.

Bernard 'Barney' Weight celebrated his 100th birthday Nov. 7. The Finlandia Village resident blew out candles on his cake with help of family, friends and staff at the village. Supplied photo.

Bernard Weight still reads the Globe and Mail every day, gives the crossword puzzles a go and speaks enthusiastically about whatever is in the news, especially if it has to do with the natural world.

Not a bad feat for a 100-year-old man.

Weight, who goes by Barney around his Finlandia Village home, celebrated the milestone Nov. 7.

When asked how he got to reach such an old age, he said he has never really given it much thought.

“I lived a sober life, and that makes a difference,” he said.

Up until his 90s, he hiked regularly. Weight particularly enjoyed bird watching, and as little as two years ago was photographed with the local ornithology club.
“I don't feel any different now than I did in my late teens,” Weight said through a big smile.

Throughout his life, Weight was heavily involved with the NDP party. His connection to the party goes back to “ever since I realized there was such a thing as politics.” He was membership chairman for the Sudbury riding for a number of years, and still strongly supports the party.

Weight was once married to Phoebe Roy, a widow, later in life. He is now a widower himself, and has been for many years. However, he has lots of family support. His surviving sister is always willing to help, as are his nieces, nephews and the children of his late wife.

The lifetime Northerner was born in Sault Ste. Marie. As a teen, he moved to Manitoulin Island before settling into a career with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Sudbury. He worked more than 30 years in the freight sheds on Elm Street. Since he arrived, he said the city has gotten much bigger.

“I'm sure it has grown a lot,” he said.

Over the years, he watched the city grow from his favourite vantage point in the north-west end of the city.

“It grew towards the lakes,” he said.

Since moving to Finlandia two years ago, Weight has kept up with what matters to him. He reads avidly, enjoys the outdoors and likes learning.

“I read the Northern Life cover to cover, except for the commercials,” he said with a smile.
 

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