Gerontology Wiki
Ronald Hermanns
Ronald Hermanns
Hermanns visiting the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at 107
Birth: 25 September 1911
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Death: 30 August 2021
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Age: 109 years, 341 days
Country: CanadaCANNew ZealandNZL

Ronald "Ron" Hermanns (25 September 1911 – 30 August 2021) was a Canadian-New Zealander centenarian who was believed to be the oldest living man and person in New Zealand at the time of his death.


Hermanns was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on 25 September 1911. His family moved to New Zealand in 1914, and settled in Wellington. In 1937, Hermanns joined the Wellington Territorial Squadron as an aircraft rigger, and in 1939, joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force. In 1943, he was deployed overseas in Vanuatu (then New Hebrides), where he spent a year working with American troops and servicing aircraft. During the war, Hermanns collected shells and discarded aircraft pieces, and created "trench art", which he donated to the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in 2009.

Herrmanns never married and had no children. Despite losing much of his sight and hearing to the effects of old age, he still lived independently as of his 108th birthday, and still spends much of his time in his workshop. He even built a metal fence in his backyard at age 107, which he constructed in spite of his blindness, instead building it "by feel". His neighbor remarked that he rarely ever complains about anything; his only birthday wish was to be able to see again.

In September 2019, when he was 108, Hermanns met with 106 year-old Bill Mitchell (1913–2021).

Following the death of Howard Buss on 25 January 2019, he was believed to be the oldest living man in New Zealand, and after the death of Nina Brown on 29 May 2020, he was believed to be the oldest living person in New Zealand.

Hermanns died in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand on 30 August 2021 at the age of 109 years, 339 days.



New Zealand's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Lavinia BaskervilleHelen DixonMary LuplauFlora BartonAlexander HughesAgnes WilsonLillian BlythEthel PearsonMary CartwrightCaroline Turner-WilliamsParewahawaha Ranginui LeonardFlorence SedcoleEdith RobisonJessie LittleMary BromleyLillian HickmottArthur Bates • Ethel Keen • Jean TillieWilliam Swensson • Charles Campbell • Mary DoyleWilliam Buttler Hayes • Bertha Cole • Laura White • Ethel Booth • Mabel WachnerFlorence Finch • Irene MorganRuby Billings • Inez Newton • Doris Mackintosh • Lena Ray • Maudie Wilson • Peg Griffin • Olive Oldfield • Madeline AndersonLinda WigginsMabel JenkinsLola de la HayeMoy Kim NgNina BrownRonald HermannsJoan Brennan

New Zealand's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Christopher Murray • Alexander Hughes • Maxwell Wallenstein • Wesley Firth • Frederick Fox • David Orange • Thomas SalmonAllan WatkinsEdward Leigh • Arthur Bates • William Swensson • Charles Campbell • Hubert HardenWilliam Hayes • James Hill • Lawrence Blyth • Bright Williams • Cecil HamiltonErnest Ryland • Trevor Henry • Harold Clark • Dudley Sainsbury • Taiwung Yu Hoi • Harry Andrews • Ian ChirnsideBob EdwardsHoward BussRonald HermannsBill MitchellLaurence Reynolds