“I didn’t think I’d make it to 100 but I did,” said Baker. “There have been a lot of changes in 100 years.”
A recent study in the U.K. that projects life expectancies in 35 industrialized countries predicted Canadians born in 2030 will have a longer life expectancy than the current generation. The study predicts the average life expectancy for Canadians will increase to age 84 for a man and 87 for a woman. Based on those statistics, Baker is well above average, and above average is a good way to describe the Lewisporte resident.
Baker writes poetry, prayers, and is a “talented orator” according to a biography complied by staff at Pleasentview Manor where Baker lives. His liveliness is evident in speaking with the TC Media, animated and sharp, Baker can still vividly recall going into business with his Brothers in Botwood. “I had three brothers and we had a business in Botwood,” said Baker. “Then in 1938, I had a branch store here (Lewisporte), then they recalled me back to Botwood.”
World’s Products Distributers in Botwood grew out a small ice cream and candy store started by Bakers eldest brother in the parlor of his parent’s home. Within a few years the business had grown into a two-story building. It was at this point Baker and another brother had joined their brother in his expanding business.
“I ran the store in Botwood, the retail store for several years, then the wholesale business,” said Baker. “As a part of that I had to buy and sell, I was a commercial traveller for so long, Lewisporte wasn’t much in those days.”
Business has been a big part of his life Baker says. He still hosts “sales” at his home. Inviting other residents to purchase ties and sweaters, even offering two for one bargains.
It was through his business in Lewisporte Baker met the love of his life, wife Mary. They were married in 1943 and for their honeymoon, went on a business trip to Port Aux Basques.
Though his wife is no longer with him, Baker has a younger brother living in Nepean, Ontario and is looking forward to a planned birthday party next week in his honour. There is even some talk of relatives making the trip to help celebrate.
“I don’t go down so much now, I can’t hear as well,” said Baker. “But I suppose I will have to go down then, I don’t think they’d let me miss it.”
After all, it’s not every day you get to celebrate 100 years.