Seventy years ago in a forested area near Emo, a young boy of 13 embarked on a career that he’s still doing to this day.
While most men his age are enjoying their retirement, 83- year-old Chris Loveday is still getting up every morning to take his place as the oldest bulldozer operator in Rainy River District.
“I have always liked to be outdoors,” Loveday said Monday from his home in Atikokan. “Building roads and operating the bulldozer is just something I have always been good at and enjoyed doing.”
Driven by his need to stay active, Loveday admitted he has never thought about retiring.
“I really can’t stand sitting around all day,” he remarked. “If I had to sit around, I would get very bored. I can’t imagine spending my life like that, especially when I still have the energy to do things.”
Although Loveday does not get paid for his work, he makes it very clear that money is not the reason he is still out there. In fact, he believes his vitality is the direct result of his decision to remain working after all of these years.
“When I was 80 years old, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer,” he noted. “I decided at that time not to get any treatment. I have lived a very long life and it seems strange to go on a treatment that will only postpone the inevitable.
“I think the reason why I am still doing well is because of my love to work,” he reasoned. “I have never found the work to be hard and I just love to be around the machines.”
So for now, Loveday is happy to help in the construction of roads. And though he knows there may come a time when he’ll need to slow down, he’s not looking to stop anytime soon.
“As long as I am still able to get out there and do my work, I am going to do it,” he stressed. “I really can’t imagine doing anything else.”