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June 13, 2019

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ORLÉANS CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 6 and 7 and from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 in the Centrum Blvd. Festival Plaza. Presented by Orléans Festivals and the Heart of Orléans BIA featuring craft beer from 29 different craft brewers. Food vendors will include Orléans own Meatings BBQ. Live music all three days. For more information visit

THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ presented by the Ottawa School of Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre. This is an all ages production. Showtimes June 7 at 7 p.m. and June 8 and 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for children and students. For more information visit

ORLÉANS OUTDOOR MARKET from 12 noon to 6 p.m. in the Ray Frield Centre parking lot on Tenth Line Road. Come meet local vendors and artians from across the east end.

4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Centrum Blvd. Food trucks, music, live perfomances, dancing and hands on activities for the whole family.

CARIVIBE BLOCK PARTY from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Orléans Festival Plaza on Centrum Blvd. featuring an All-Star International D.J. Lineup, Caribbean food, dancers and the Kids Carnival Village. Visit the Latin Street Party stage and enjoy Bachata, Kizomba, Salsa Romantica and Latin Dance Workshops, brought to you by A.S.A Dance Production. Advance tickets $15.00. Kids 12 and under FREE. Tickets can be purchased by visiting


Revera Portobello centenarian still driving after all these years
By Heather Jamieson
May 18, 2019

Richard DeRyckere likes to drive over to Canadian Tire or Walmart just to look around and pass the time. What makes this remarkable is that he celebrated his 100th birthday last December and just had his license renewed until April 10, 2021.

Of the 10.2 million licensed drivers in Ontario in 2017, only 152 were 100 years of age or older.

Revera Portobello centarian Richard DeRycker, stands beside his shiny red 2017 Buick Encore which he drives three or four times a week to go shopping or to just go out for a ride around town. HEATHER JAMIESON PHOTO

DeRyckere has clearly aged very well. As the oldest resident at Revera Portobello Retirement Living in Orléans, where he has lived for the past 11 years, DeRyckere is as surprised as anyone that he reached his 100th birthday. He laughs about looking in the mirror and asking: “What are you supposed to look like or feel like at 100? How the hell did you make it?”

Born near Winnipeg on December 7, 1918, DeRyckere was the youngest of three children. His parents had emigrated from Ghent, Belgium, in 1911.

While he concedes luck and genes have a lot to do with him exceeding life expectancy by almost 20 years, he attributes advances in medicine and medications as major contributors to his longevity.

He has had heart issues that were resolved with stents. Since his cataracts were removed, he only needs glasses to read fine print, doesn’t need hearing aids and his memory is impressively sharp as he recalls his life’s events.

While he suffers from a “worn out knee” and is too old to qualify for a knee replacement, he doesn’t let it slow him down. In fact, his spacious studio apartment at Portobello is at the rear of the building requiring him to walk a long corridor to the elevator to go down for his meals, events and shopping. He won’t move to a more convenient room because he likes the exercise and the sunrises he can see through his window.

His life in Ottawa began in 1940 when he signed up for the Air Force and came to Uplands Air Force Base for basic training. He shipped out to England as a fighter pilot in 1942 and mostly flew the De Havilland Mosquito and the P51 Mustang.

Pilots were paid less on days they didn’t fly. With a shortage of aircraft and sufficient commissioned officers to do the bulk of the flying, non-commission pilots DeRyckere and a buddy opted to work in the maintenance hangar. It gave them steady work and a steady paycheque. “And we knew the aircraft inside out,” he says with pride.

His wartime service and love of planes is clearly evident on the walls of his room, which are adorned with posters of airplanes, photographs and a framed set of his five service medals. He is particularly proud of a medal he received in 2002 from the Kingdom of the Netherlands acknowledging his contribution to the liberation of Holland.

His Canadian Volunteer Service medal, with its Dieppe Bar, shows he participated in the historic Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942. Another wall has the framed certificates recognizing his 100th birthday from the Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister and Mayor.

A photograph, in warm sepia tones, is of his late wife, Marina Algozino, who he married in 1945 after he returned from overseas. She was an Ottawa girl, of Italian heritage, and his voice is tinged with sadness when he recalls the failed pregnancy that left them unable to have children.

They tried living in Winnipeg for a year, but she couldn’t adapt to the cold. Back in Ottawa, he worked at Morrison Lamothe bakery for more than a decade and then on to the National Research Council for 15 years until his retirement. His wife was 85 when she died in 2005.

His advice for the rest of us? “Live every day. Don’t look for the end of it. I can visualize there’s a stop sign at the end of the road. I am getting towards it, but I live for every day.” Meanwhile, he will continue to take to the road in his shiny, red, two-year-old Buick Encore

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)



OST presents a fresh take on The Wizard of Oz

Final GMC recital serves as rehearsal for Kiwanis Music Festival

Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to Orléans

Local athletes shine at HS track & field championships

NCAFA, Jr. Gee-Gees form elite minor football program

Les Sittelles hosts first annual Brian Leblanc gymnastics meet

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HEATHER JAMIESON: Pre-planning some end of life arrangements has many benefits

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Phone: 613-447-2829
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