WWII Veteran Albert Middleton, who lives at Veterans Memorial Lodge, a Broadmead Care Home in Victoria, BC, celebrated his 108th birthday today at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Victoria, BC. He was joined by his daughter Darlene, son Wayne, fellow residents, and staff. The festivities included a special cake, sparkling wine, and at least two rousing versions of Happy Birthday, led by Albert himself!
His family was delighted with the amount of attention given to the event. “I am absolutely speechless. I can’t believe how much effort went into today’s party. We are so grateful for everything Broadmead Care has done to support Dad, including this wonderful time together,” said Wayne, Albert’s son. His daughter, Darlene, said, “This is just amazing. I can’t find the words to express how grateful we are. Dad always said you have to have a goal to keep moving towards. My goal is to be as happy and wonderful as he is, at 108 years of age!”
When asked what advice he’d give to his younger self, Albert responded, “Don’t smoke, it’s bad for you!” He went on to say that the secret to longevity is “never give in, keep moving, keep going forward.” Darlene says her dad often said you need three things in life: something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love. “That pretty much sums it all up,” she said.
Albert was born in London, England in 1915, and sent to Canada in 1929 by the National Children’s Orphanage. He made his way through life with determination and a ‘never give up’ attitude. On September 21, 1943, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a General Serviceman, and was stationed in Lachine PQ until he was sent to England, where he served for most of the war. On July 12, 1946, he was Honourably Released and transferred to the Reserve General Section, Class ‘E’. He received the Defence medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, and (unconfirmed) the Canadian Forces Decoration with Clasp.
Prior to moving to Veterans Memorial Lodge, Albert lived on his own in Victoria, BC. He began participating in the day program for veterans at Broadmead Care’s Veterans Health Centre in October 2016. At 101 years of age, Albert moved in to Veterans Memorial Lodge at the end of November 2016, supported by his family in Ontario, members of the Broadmead Care community, and dear friends who live nearby.
“It is truly an honour to serve Canada’s veterans, who sacrificed much so we are able to live in freedom in this beautiful country. For decades we have been privileged to care for the men and women who served in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and in peacekeeping missions around the globe. Albert is an unfailingly cheerful and kind hearted person, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone with him,” said Derrick Bernardo, President and CEO of Broadmead Care.