September 15th, 2011
By Jojo Taduran
AT THE age of 78, Manuel (Manny) Reyes Austria is still very active in the field of volunteerism at the St. Clair West Services for Seniors, a government institution mandated to cater to the needs of the elderly, in Toronto, Ontario.
No less than MPP Mike Colle of the Eglinton-Lawrence West riding personally handed him a Volunteer Service Award of his four years of consistent volunteer service.
Manny is recognized whenever he goes to Filipino community affairs in Toronto. He is also active in church and other charitable institutions activities. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Order of the Knights of Rizal.
He is scheduled twice a week at the Eglinton West Services for Seniors to do volunteer work. He serves as a waiter for the elderly clients in the huge dining hall during lunchtime. Manny also washes dishes and other glassware when the need arises. During birthdays and other milestones, he provides music by either singing or by entertaining guests. Every Monday, he goes to the Eglinton Hill Center located in the same building for the Digital Camera Club where he is a very active member.
Manny professes that old age is not a deterrent to becoming a productive member of the society. He goes to the Holy Rosary Church daily at 7:15 a.m. regardless of the weather. This routine has a double purpose for Manny. It is both a physical and a spiritual exercise. He walks for about 30 minutes going to the church and back, which is enough to maintain fitness and wellness.
About seven years ago, Manny was cited in several media outlets as the oldest member of the maintenance staff of the Sports Clubs of Canada, outgunning about 120 maintenance workers, for never having been absent or late for work.
Manny abides by his motto is “the harder he works, the harder for him to get older.”
He is a holder of Bachelor of Laws degree and a retired administrator of the UP Los Banos Hospital.