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New Brunswick man believed to be the oldest in Canada celebrates 109th birthday

New Brunswick man believed to be oldest in Canada celebrates 109th birthday
WATCH: Born and raised in Beaver Harbour, N.B., in 1911, Arnold Hawkins still calls the fishing community home. Tim Roszell reports.

Arnold Hawkins was a popular man as he sat in a chair at the family home he helped build on Thursday.

Born and raised in Beaver Harbour, N.B., in 1911, he still calls the fishing community home.

Granddaughter Cheryl McKinley said he continues to amaze her and the whole family.

“A few years ago, when he was hitting 104, 105, 106, and he kept going, we just kind of said to each other, ‘he’s just going to outlive all of us,’” she laughed.

READ MORE: Canada’s oldest man dies at 110

Hawkins was a lobster fisherman well into his 70s.

Daughter Violet McKinley said it wasn’t uncommon for her to ask for boat rides to the nearby Wold Islands, especially when hanging out with friends.

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“[One time] I asked dad if we could go to the wolves and he said no,” said Violet.

“So we stowed away, and he got halfway over there and it was too late to bring us back. He found us halfway over there and he was so mad.”

Arnold Hawkins celebrated his 109th birthday on Jan. 30, 2020.
Arnold Hawkins celebrated his 109th birthday on Jan. 30, 2020. Tim Roszell/Global News

Hawkins has five children, 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchilden.

The occasion was also celebrated by politicians, including local MLA and justice minister Andrea Anderson-Mason.

Botched cake leads to belated birthday surprise for young Toronto Maple Leafs fan in Montreal
Botched cake leads to belated birthday surprise for young Toronto Maple Leafs fan in Montreal

“On my way down here, I was thinking to myself that I should have brought the premier with me,” Mason began.

“I was actually on the phone with him before I arrived. I thought I should have brought him with me because I don’t know if he’ll be here next year. And when I said that, I didn’t mean Mr. Hawkins, I meant the premier of New Brunswick.

“We’re a minority government. It’s day-by-day. You just never know.”

Hawkins’ family believes genetics may have played a role in his longevity. They say he had a grandmother who lived to be 107.

His birthday included visits from countless friends and family members, and a bowl of seafood chowder before helping to blow out the candles on his birthday cake.

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