Pictured right: Albert, celebrating his 106th birthday at Veterans Memorial Lodge.
We first met Albert in October 2016, when he first joined the day program at the Veterans Health Centre, attending regularly on Wednesdays. At that time he was 101 years young – fiercely independent and living in his own home. A very social person, he was known to take the bus daily to Mayfair Mall, where he met with his many friends.
In those days, Albert lived in an apartment across from Beacon Hill Park. At the end of November 2016, he moved to Veterans Memorial Lodge, supported by his family in Ontario, Veterans Affairs Canada, members of the Broadmead Care community, and dear friends who live nearby.
Albert was born and raised in England, with three siblings. As a young teen, he was sent to Canada as a ‘war orphan’, living there until 1943, when he signed up for the Air Force and served overseas during WWII. He was married and widowed twice, and had three children.
After the War ended, Albert received a sum of money from Veterans Affairs Canada, and used it as a down payment on a hobby farm of 65 acres. He worked in factories in Ontario, including at Massey Ferguson, a manufacturer of farm equipment. Even while he worked full time, he operated his small farm, enjoying a steady stream of livestock such as pigs and cows. Albert was an enthusiastic and modern hobbyist, buying a tractor when most farmers were still using horses and plowshares.
Albert is well loved by residents and staff alike, and on March 11, 2021, he will celebrate his 106th birthday with a close friend, fellow residents, and staff at Veterans Memorial Lodge. The occasion promises a special cake, a taste of champagne gifted by his daughter (with another bottle to follow, sent by his granddaughter!), and all the Big Band music and celebrations current COVID-19 guidelines will permit.
You can help veterans like Albert enjoy the comforts of home and simple pleasures by making a donation today.