What you possibly didn't know about Reg, that he :* was born at Tunstall, Staffordshire and, after leaving school, gained a degree in theology at Durham University.
* became a minister of the Church and, in the 1940's, served as an Army chaplain in Burma during the Second World War.
* attributed his longevity not solely to his strict vegetarian diet but also to an 'elixir of life' given to him by a doctor in Burma, who said to him :' “I have concocted a drink that will make you live for ever”, or something like that, and would I like to take it? Well I’m very naive, I can’t say no, so I drank it and here I am.’
* after the War, became a church minister in Derby, where he helped found the Derby Playhouse and then in 1958, a teacher, 'Dixie Dean', at Herbert Strutt Grammar School, Belper, where the actor Timothy Dalton was a pupil and played Paris in the school play, 'Tiger at the Gates' in 1963.
* went on to serve as minister at the United Reformed Churches in Wirksworth and Matlock, before retiring at the age of 80, 30 years ago.
* is a 'Licentiate of the Royal Acadmy of Music' and been involved with drama and music all his life, having sung in the 'Bombay Light Opera Company' as a young man and has long been associated with 'The Dalesmen Male Voice Choir', of which he was President.
* at the age of 109, took his first steps into the world of computing and went online for the first time and his a passion for 'Fairtrade' was helped to found 'Traid Links', in Wirksworth.
* has said: “I’d like to meet Nelson Mandela and I’d like to live to 120.” and : "treat every moment as though it was your last”.
* in a local newspaper, the 'Matlock Mercury' to mark his 100th birthday, his friend Carole Poulson said : " He is a very clever man, a good scholar who still gives talks on Charles Dickens. He is a very caring man and takes a keen interest in human rights and Amnesty International and caring for the less well off."
What better praise could a man have had ?
Reg at his 109th birthday celebration :
P.S. The world’s recorded oldest man, aged 115, is Jiroemon Kimura in Japan