Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Centenarian! October 11, 2014

Filed under: anecdotes,Commentary — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Dad’s 93rd birthday

My father’s 100th birthday is being celebrated at our Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, though there are still 2 weeks until the official day.  (Yes, I was a late in life baby). 🙂

Dad was born in Montreal in 1914.  He had two older brothers, but he was the only one to survive to adulthood.  He remembers the soldiers returning from World War One.  He was run over by a (new!) Model T Ford when he was 3.  He was an active member of Boy Scouts and saw Lord and Lady Baden-Powell when they visited North America in 1935.

He worked for Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in the 30s. During WW2, he tried to enlist, but they refused him, because the doctor heard a heart murmur.  He built aircraft at Fairchilds in Longueuil, instead.  In the 50s, he and a friend came to Vancouver and started Maco Industries, a building supply wholesaler.  For the next forty years he worked for them, retiring finally around 70.

He was married twice.  He had 3 adopted sons with his first wife who had tuberculosis and couldn’t have children.  His second wife brought 3  children into the marriage, they had one biological child (me!).

He was an avid tennis player and table tennis player.  He was playing tennis into his 70s.  He was still playing table tennis when legally blind, into his 80s.  He couldn’t see the ball, but he could see the shape of his opponent’s paddle, and knew where the ball would be.  He walked several kilometers each day until his 90s.

Dad never passes a children’s drink stand without buying a cup.

For entertainment at his party tomorrow, I’m looking for questions for an Ask a Centenarian! event.

Here’s your chance.  Leave a question in the comments, and we’ll ask him.  If technology allows, we may even film him responding to your questions.  If there are quite a few, I’ll keep asking over the next few weeks during the season of his birthday festivities.

So– what would you like to ask?



29 Responses to “Centenarian!”

  1. beenough Says:

    I am wondering what your dad’s memories are of elementary school, especially kindergarten? Blessings upon your family as you celebrate your dads birthday. Amazing. Truly.

  2. Hi Shawn, congratulations to your dad, 100 is a great achievement. As George Burns once said: You have it made when you reach 100 as not many people die over 100 years of age.’
    My question: What in your opinion has been the greatest change you’ve witnessed in society in your time?

  3. themuseinme Says:

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday! Not everyone reaches this particular milestone in their life. My question is: When my friends enter into a new decade of their life, I say things like: So, you’re turning fifty? Welcome to the decade of wisdom! When they turn 60, I congratulate them by proclaiming: “Welcome to the decade of reaping your harvest! All the sowing you have done in the past is coming to fruition now! Enjoy harvesting that which you have labored for.” When one enters the Centenarian Decade, what should our wish be for them? What would you like for us to wish for you?

  4. d78hill Says:

    Your dad looks amazing for his age. What does he consider to be the greatest invention in the past 100 years and why? (That’s two questions rolled into one)

  5. I wish him a full happy Centenary, and a fun start on his second century.

  6. How fascinating. Yes, you need to document this wonderful,event and ask a zillion questions for posterity. Happy Birthday!

  7. Rajiv Says:

    Congrats to him!

  8. Happy Birthday to your Dad! 🎉🎂❤️

  9. What do you consider the best genre of music? And your favorite song is? Happy Birthday:)

  10. prior Says:

    happy b-day – woo woo 100! ❤

  11. charizma90 Says:

    What does your dad think his greatest achievement is?

    Happy birthday to him and many blessings to you and your family.

  12. zdunno03 Says:

    No questions, Shawn. Just a birthday wish for a life well lived.

  13. amoafowaa Says:

    Please I want to know his perspective on love and heartbreaks. I hear centenarians have good perspectives on love.

  14. bernie635 Says:

    i just want to wish your dad a very Happy Birthday..

  15. bennythomas Says:

    My felicitations to you and your father. You still can cherish him and he has his daughter around. May days lightly touch him, Best wishes,

  16. Annette Rochelle Aben Says:

    Many blessings for your Thanksgiving feast and the celebration of your father’s 100 years on this planet! Much JOY!! I would ask him to tell his favorite joke as I feel humor is key to not only a longer life but a happier one…

  17. Amazing milestone!! wow a question – “what is your very FIRST memory in life?”

  18. Happy Birthday to your dad and best wishes for the entire family.A century has passed since he was born! Wow! We will be grateful for anything that he feels he wants to share with us about his life during these 100 years, anything that will be like our lesson for the rest of our lives….!

  19. My father was born in 1915, and died a few years ago. I am so happy for you, Shawn, that you still have your father with you and your family, and that he has you. No questions, just a very, very “Happy Birthday!” to your dad.

  20. macjam47 Says:

    Wow! Happy Birthday to your Dad!

  21. Lorien Says:

    What is the most important thing you have learned about life? What is your most favorite place in the world? Vanilla or Chocolate? Happy Birthday Shawn’s Dad!

  22. Joanne Corey Says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post. I’m glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and 100th birthday celebration!

  23. aishpandey Says:

    All the best wishes! 🙂

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