It’s never too late!

February 19, 2008

After 93 years of living, Clarence Brazier began the fight of his life — to learn to read.
A centenarian tirelessly promotes literacy after learning to read in his 90s.
Word’s worth
Kathy Rumleski
The London Free Press 
It’s not often you see a 100-year-old poster boy.
But Clarence Brazier has happily taken on the role of poster boy for literacy.

Unable to read until he was 93, Brazier said Oct. 19 he considers “every new story a joy and every word a small blessing.”

The Huntsville-area widower received a Canada Post literacy award Oct. 19 at a ceremony at London’s Wolf Performance Hall.

In an emotional acceptance speech, after which he received a standing ovation, Brazier said he decided to learn to read after his wife of 64 years died. She had read everything to him.

“I don’t know how to thank all of the good people that have been here to help me in my trouble. The hope I have is it will help somebody else.

“I hope other people have the courage to try to read like I have because it was no easy turn.”

Brazier’s daughter, Doris Villemaire, is his tutor and she said it was his idea to learn to read, not hers.

Villemaire, proud as can be of her father, said he practised his reading by poring over junk mail. Now, he enjoys reading books about farming, logging and local history.

Literacy promoters have told her Brazier, who speaks at schools and seniors’ homes, has done more in the last two months to raise awareness than any number of media campaigns during the last year.

Brazier’s story has brought him national media attention and yesterday, although looking weary, he readily agreed to do more interviews.

Brazier had a tip for others learning to read: “If they get discouraged after a half-hour like I did, always take a rest and go back after. I’m still learning.”

Source: The London Free Press


One Response to “It’s never too late!”

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