Frank Harding, in his home in Courtenay. Photo by Scott Strasser.

98-year-old B.C. man passes driving reassessment

Frank Harding has been driving for nearly eight decades

On its own, the fact that Frank Harding hasn’t been in a car accident isn’t that impressive.

What’s impressive is that he’s been driving for almost 80 years — and showing no signs of slowing down.

Following a recent medical examination, the 98-year-old Courtenay resident was recommended by his doctor to undergo a driving assessment to make sure he was still fit to get behind the wheel of his 1990 Volvo.

“[The doctor] figured that due to my age, I should do a road test,” said Harding, who was born in New Brunswick on Dec. 12, 1919. “He gave me a phone number and this lady took me out. It was foggy. We debated whether we should go out or not.”

Harding said he barely passed the reassessment the first time around due to poor weather and fog.

“All I could do was see the road just in front of my car,” he said. “She put me through a spot where there was a stop sign and I didn’t see it until I was already in the intersection.”

Harding said he was docked 59 points throughout the assessment. The maximum amount of points allowed to be docked was 60.

Because of how narrowly he had passed, his doctor recommended he perform the test again.

Harding said the second time he took the test that he passed with no issues.

“The woman said, ‘take me to Walmart.’ I said, ‘well, that’s not a problem’. So we went to Walmart.”

Eight decades of driving

Harding first obtained his driver’s licence in 1945, after returning to New Brunswick from the Second World War. He had served in Italy and also participated in the Liberation of Holland.

But he’d done plenty of driving before then.

Even though he had never owned a car before going overseas and had only driven tractors and other farm equipment until that point, Harding listed his occupation as “truck driver” when he first enlisted in the army.

“Where I lived, I never had an occupation. I hardly knew what the word meant,” he said. “Someone told me that when I joined the army, all I’d be doing is walking. So when they asked my occupation, right off the top of my head, I said I was a truck driver.”

Because of that little white lie, Harding often found himself performing various driving assignments for his Company during his time in Europe.

He mentioned how when he first arrived in Sicily, he was presented with a truck, a big water tank and a container of powder to retrieve water for the rest of the Company.

“That was my job — supplying water for all of these men until the engineers set up our water purifiers,” he said.

“My record said I was a truck driver, so if they needed a truck driver, they called on me!”

Frequent gym-goer

At 98, Harding attributes his continued good health to eating well and going to the Comox Recreation Centre regularly.

He said he goes to the gym five or six mornings per week, where he uses a dozen of the exercise machines.

“It gives me something to get up for. Otherwise, I’d probably stay in bed all day,” he said.

His niece Cora Driscoll lives a few blocks away from Harding in Courtenay, where he lives by himself in a small bungalow.

“He’s so positive. He’s got such a good outlook on life,” she said. “He’s just amazing.”

Just Posted

In pursuit: Langley plays host to popular new dog sport

PHOTOS: Langley hosted second-only Canadian mixed-breed dog trials at Stafford this past weekend.

Controversial Langley condo development earns Advance reporter national accolades

Matthew Claxton’s coverage of the Murrayville House condo saga won a national award.

Aldergrove Fair Days gets ‘Down on the Farm’

Something for everyone at the 106th annual Aldergrove Fair

VIDEO: Self-guided Langley mural walk first of many new tourism experiences

Brochures are available for visitors and residents who want to check out some Langley City wall art.

PHOTOS: Charity Langley car show starts tradition of caring for people with cancer

Ken Johnson wanted an event that to feature his late friend’s vehicle, and it grew into a car show.

VIDEO: Annual Langley City Legendary Water Fight a fun way to beat the heat

Fire department crews bring water-filled trucks and hoses to the pool to douse patrons.

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Coco the cat survives horrific house fire wrapped in a blanket

Found in the laundry hours after Chilliwack firefighters douse blaze that destroyed five structures

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Aldergrove Youth Soccer registration underway

Kids from U11 to U18 need to register so that teams can be formed, games organized

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Aldergrove ‘hoops’ boys raise cash

Successful fundraiser for the Aldergrove boys’ basketball team

Otter Co-op’s CEO top of the class

Jack Nicholson receives 2018 B.C. CEO Award in the Large Company category

Most Read