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A century on the farm

Vittoria's Harry Gundry has called
the same farm home for 101 years

By Samantha Craggs staff writer

VITTORIA -- If you head out to Erievue Farm at RR 1, Vittoria, Harry Gundry will probably greet you at the door and tell you about the acre and a half of garden he maintains. He will probably also be able to tell you what you need to know about the past century in Norfolk County.

Harry Gundry is 101 years old and he has lived here all of his life.

Gundry drove a car until he was 92. He has raised a family that produced nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He has been to every province of Canada. He has been to Florida "more times than I can count."

Gundry is pretty sure which area in the world he likes the best.

"Prince Edward Island is nice," he said. "Not to live there, but it's nice. But I think Norfolk County has always looked pretty good to me."

Gundry said he was born Nov. 26, 1896 "in this house, as far as I know." It is the same house that has been in his family for about 150 years.

"I can sit here (on the front porch) and look out and see the boats coming from Turkey Point to Port Dover," Gundry said. "We live in a very sociable part of the country. I have good neighbours and they keep things lively. I like it here."

Gundry is the oldest child of John and Emma Gundry. His brother Walter, who was born in 1900, farmed a concession over from Erievue Farm. His sister Marjorie, born in 1904, taught school in Windham township.

Gundry went to Public School #5 in Charlotteville at Lot 21 Concession 2. He started farming when he was about 16 and became a partner in his father's farm as an adult.

"I kind of had an idea once that I would like to be a veterinarian," he said. "It's a good thing I didn't because I was too slight of a man to do that."

Gundry married Eva Lawrence and had three children. One of them, Doug, now maintains about 100 acres of corn on the farm.

Doug said one of the things he has noticed since his father farmed is that there are hardly any dairy farmers any more.

"In 1945, there were 13 dairy farms on these two roads," he said. "Now there are none left."

Gundry said even though he farmed for decades, and is still doing what he calls "tinkering around," he has never been bored.

"There was always plenty of work to do and it's still interesting," he said. "There is always plenty to look forward to. You have animals, and then the younger ones come along, and you watch them grow and become like the others. It's never boring."

Gundry will turn 102 in November. When asked what the secret is to living a long and happy life, he pauses and shrugs.

"I think it's having things to do, watching things grow and having friends all over," he said.