Stettler’s Tony Hermus, 90, certainly knows the incredible benefits of staying active in his senior years. Tony heads out for two bike rides everyday around the community. (Mark Weber/Stettler Independent)

Stettler’s Tony Hermus, 90, certainly knows the incredible benefits of staying active in his senior years. Tony heads out for two bike rides everyday around the community. (Mark Weber/Stettler Independent)

Stettler’s Tony Hermus, 90, has discovered the joys and many benefits of bicycle riding

June 3rd also marks World Bicycle Day

Stettler resident Tony Hermus is a delight to chat with – he’s engaging, witty and absolutely radiates well-being.

Perhaps part of that stems from Hermus’s commitment to staying active.

At 90, the resident of Paragon Place heads out typically two times a day for bike rides around the community.

“When I retired from farming, I had to have some kind of entertainment,” he says with a smile, referring to his daily rides which he just loves.

“My children gave me a bike for my birthday and ever since, I have been biking everyday in the summertime, of course,” he added. “Most often, I go twice a day,” he said, pointing out that his route essentially circles around much of the community. It takes about one hour.

“I do it every day – and quite often, twice a day!”

Hermus said the route is about 10 km in length.

Looking back, Hermus arrived in the Strathmore area back in 1951 from his native Holland.

He came from the southern part of the country, about 10 miles from the Belgian border, he explained. He wanted to farm and said that at the time, there just wasn’t enough land back home – so he set his sites on the very spacious Canada.

A sister had also arrived a year previously to Alberta so there was a connection to the region, too.

“I went to work for different farmers in the area. And in 1955, I moved to Rosebud to work for a farmer there.”

He kept on saving his money so that one day, he could purchase his own farm. That dream came true with the establishment of a farm south of Big Valley.

He and his wife Joanne eventually retired from the farm and moved into town many years ago. Retirement brought lots of fabulous traveling experiences, including many winters spent in sunny, warm Arizona.

Later on, they settled into Paragon Place.

Joanne passed away in 2017. The couple had been married for 62 years.

In the meantime, to further his efforts to stay in shape and maintain a sense of well-being, Hermus said he also does exercises everyday at home in the morning.

A state of contentment also stems from just keeping busy and engaged – Hermus enjoys spending time outside, at his local church and he also likes to read.

Interestingly, this week also marks World Bicycles Day on June 3rd.

It all goes back to U.S.-based Professor Leszek Sibilski who initiated a grassroots campaign with his sociology class to promote a U.N. resolution that would designate a day for the celebration of the humble bicycle all over the world, according to

“In 2015, Sibilski dedicated himself to an academic project, exploring bicycles and their role in development,” notes the site. “His project catapulted into a massive movement backed by ‘Sustainable Mobility for All,’ and eventually resulted in a dedicated international day set by the United Nations for the promotion of bicycling.

“On April 12th, 2018, the resolution declaring June 3rd as World Bicycle Day was unanimously adopted by all 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.”

From there, it literally took off.

“The resolution was greatly supported by Turkmenistan and co-sponsored by around 56 countries.”

For Hermus, biking is also something of a family affair.

Back in 2012, he took his whole family – about 29 people in all – back to Holland to show them where the family roots are. Of course, bicycle riding was a wonderful part of the unforgettable time together.

And of course, his ties to his homeland remain strong.

“On the farm where I grew up, I have a nephew with the same name as me taking care of it.”

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Stettler town hall
Town approves Canada Day fireworks show, using phase two health restrictions

The funding for the fireworks show has already been allocated

Castor Evangelical Missionary Church Pastor Brent Siemens, celebrating five years in Castor, reflects on the journey that brought him to the community. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor pastor celebrates five years of serving the community

Brent Siemens is the pastor of Castor’s Evangelical Missionary Church

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Most Read