The rhymer of Cupids

Se­nior lives with chronic pain, but still makes the most of life

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

No­body can ac­cuse Frazer Moore of lack­ing per­se­ver­ance amid over­whelm­ing odds.

For 78 years, the Cupids res­i­dent has lived with chronic pain as the re­sult of a con­di­tion known as sco­l­io­sis, a curv­ing of the spine.

“I can­not re­mem­ber a day in life that’s been with­out pain,” he says.

Yet, he’s strug­gled through the pain and lived a full life, suc­ceed­ing where a lesser per­son might give up in de­spair.

“I’m still suf­fer­ing, but you learn to live with it,” he says.

The only son in a large fam­ily, Moore was born and raised in Clarke’s Beach. Be­cause of cir­cum­stances be­yond his con­trol, he left school and home as a teenager, and moved to Toronto in search of em­ploy­ment.

Work and study

He worked days and at­tended night school. He stud­ied typ­ing, weld­ing, metal fin­ish­ing and me­chan­ics, trades that pre­pared him for the work­force.

“I found it very dif­fi­cult and had to quit work be­cause of my sco­l­io­sis,” he says.

Two bouts with surgery left him un­able to do any heavy work.

In 1966, af­ter his fa­ther Harold died, Moore re­turned home to care for his mother, Mary. He fought bore­dom by start­ing a whole­sale busi­ness.

“That was a com­plete flop,” he ad­mits. “I lost my shirt.”

Back in Toronto, he at­tended Hum­ber Col­lege, his mind set on be­com­ing a so­cial worker. How­ever, his dream faded when he was told that “at your age, the govern­ment can’t take you on.”

An­other dream — be­com­ing a preacher — died af­ter he at­tended Toronto Bi­ble Col­lege. This time, he had to quit be­cause of lim­ited eye­sight.

He fin­ished his work ca­reer as sex­ton at Ti­mothy Ea­ton Me­mo­rial Church.

“I couldn’t keep up with that be­cause of the pain, so I had to quit,” he says.

On­go­ing back prob­lems forced him to re­tire at 58.

Home for good

“I was de­bat­ing what I should do with the rest of my life,” Moore says.

That was when a thought en­tered his mind: “go back to New­found­land and start teach­ing mu­sic.” He hadn’t played but­ton ac­cor­dion in 30 years. He’d also fid­dled with gui­tar, cor­net, man­dolin, banjo and har­mon­ica.

In 2000, he came home to stay. To this day, he teaches mu­sic from his apart­ment.

Al­ways dream­ing, Moore wanted to write his life story. “This was a chal­lenge,” he says. An­other thought: write his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy as a se­ries of po­ems. Po­etry was one of his loves.

En­list­ing a friend, Bob Bishop, to proof­read his po­ems, in 2010 Moore self-pub­lished his first book, “Re­flec­tions: A Po­etic An­thol­ogy of Life.” Ear­lier this year, Bow­mark Print­ing of Spa­niard’s Bay pro­duced Moore’s sec­ond vol­ume, “Upon Fur­ther Re­flec­tion: More Thoughts on Life and Love.”

“I’m not very happy if I don’t have some­thing to do,” he says.

Moore has long been a phi­lat­e­list and nu­mis­ma­tist, col­lect­ing and sell­ing postage stamps and coins.

“I had stamps com­ing out of my ears,”

More de­ter­mined than ever

To­day, at 78, Moore takes care of his per­sonal chores.

“That’s a job in it­self,” he says. “I don’t like it, but I man­age to do it.”

He’d just as soon eat at a fast-food restau­rant as cook at home.

Mean­while, he has no in­ten­tion of sit­ting back and wait­ing for the Grim Reaper.

“If I was that type of per­son, I’d say, ‘Some­one get rid of me please,’” he says with a jolly laugh.

Moore would make a fine mo­ti­va­tional speaker, what with his words of wis­dom and en­cour­age­ment.

“You never know what you can do un­til you try,” he says. “If you think your life is all done, then ask (God) for help.”

For years, 78-year- old Frazer Moore of Cupids has been teach­ing mu­sic from his apart­ment. He suf­fers chronic pain from sco­l­io­sis.

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