They say you’re never too old to go back to school and for Victor Parker, 84, of Toronto, he did just that.
He has commuted by way of foot, subway, GO train and bus to Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., at least once a week for the past 14 years — typically more than a three-hour trip, each way.
On Wednesday, that journey took Parker to the stage at the Bata Library, where he received his third degree — a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous studies.
“I have been very concerned with how we, Canadians, have been treating and behaving towards Indigenous peoples,” said Parker. “I was thinking ‘what can I do now to help change things around?'”
Parker was born in Desbiens, Que. He moved around as a child before his family settled near Niagara-on-the-Lake. The family owned a farm outside of the small community of Virgil, Ont.
Parker calls himself a lifelong student. In addition to his time at Trent, Parker was in the air force in the 1970s. He parachuted three times while in the service.
When Parker was learning abroad in Thailand in 2010, he decided to give bungee jumping a try.
“After it was all over, I said I’m glad I did it and I won’t do it anymore. It was harder to do than the three parachute jumps,” laughed Parker.
Parker drove a bus for the Toronto Transit Commission for nearly 14 years. After that, he worked security at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Now that his journey at Trent is complete, Parker plans to learn even more.
He plans to take courses at York University.
“The more that I learn, the more that I know that I really don’t know much. I really don’t know much,” said Parker. “It’s amazing.”