TERRACE resident Fred Glover recently made headlines in his hometown of Banbridge, Northern Ireland when he booked a pub there to host a party for the year 2054.
The celebration will mark the 100th anniversary of Glover moving to Canada and although he more than likely won’t be at the party, the Downshire Arms Hotel has booked rooms for Glover’s family 40 years from now.
The Downshire is the pub that Glover most frequented when he was growing up in Banbridge and the pub is home of many fond memories for him.
It is also the last place he met with friends before he set sail to Canada on March 16, 1954.
So, it is only fitting that his family including his four children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren should celebrate Glover over a pint of the finest at his favourite pub at the 100 year anniversary.
Eighty-year-old Glover first moved to Canada in 1954 and he has called Terrace home for the past 26 years.
In June, Glover returned to his native land of Ireland for the second time since he left more than 60 years ago.
He received a warm welcome from the townspeople of Banbridge and quite a bit of media coverage.
“He became the talk of the town for the remainder of his stay, with people stopping him on the street,” said Francois Vincent, reporter at local paper The Banbridge Chronicle.
The paper featured Glover twice this June, referring to him as a “larger-than-life character.”
He was a bit of a local celebrity when he finally arrived in Ireland later that month.
“I was surprised at the level of interest in my visit, because let’s face it, when you turn 80, there aren’t many people around that you once knew,” Glover told The Chronicle.
Glover worked his way west from Toronto and under the advice of a Russian man he met in Ontario, he found himself in Kitimat working as a heavy mechanic.
There, he met and married his late wife Helen and together they settled in Terrace after a brief stay in the village of Telkwa.
The jack of all trades has had many jobs and has lived in some of the roughest conditions that the Northwest has to offer – he lived in tents that slept 10 men and on boats that slept 250. Later, Glover started his own logging company earning himself the title ‘Lumberjack Fred.’
Glover is still known as an excellent mechanic and he often has to turn work away from the garage he built in his backyard.
“I love Canada and I would never move away from my children and grandchildren, but I will always feel more Irish than Canadian,” he told The Chronicle.
Although the beauty and splendor of Terrace and Northwestern B.C. has kept Glover happy and busy, it is Ireland that still holds his heart.
“Truth being told. I have been homesick ever since leaving Ireland and I think about my native land every day.”