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Kisbey, Sask., man celebrates 100th birthday with 75 car surprise parade

A look at one of the 100+ vehicles that took part in Kisbey resident Albert Hale's 100th birthday surprise parade. Submitted: Laureen LaBrash

A Kisbey, Sask., resident entered his second century in style Saturday afternoon.

After plans for a more traditional party were foiled by COVID-19, Albert Hale’s granddaughter Laureen LaBrash rallied the local community to come up with a socially distant replacement.

The result — a 70-plus vehicle parade featuring everyone from close friends and family members to the local police department.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Farmers’ markets, thrift shops now included in Saskatchewan’s reopen plan

“There were fire trucks, old cars and old trucks,” LaBrash said. “He looked and the vehicles kept coming and coming, and he turned and said ‘they’re still coming!'”

“I wish I had gotten video of that. He just had such a sense of awe. It was really special.”

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Laureen LaBrash. Laureen LaBrash

LaBrash says she was inspired to organize the event in part by a love for parades that she says Hale has held onto through his ten-decades of life.

She says didn’t expect such a far-reaching reaction, though, when she began making plans for the birthday surprise which even featured a tractor driven into town by a neighbor’s grandson’s girlfriend.

“Everybody just pulled together. It was really cool!”

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LaBrash says Hale, a Second World War veteran, still lives on his own and remains active, spending a lot of time working on his garden.

As for the secret to living such a long and healthy life, LaBrash says her grandpa tells her to eat well, avoid drinking and smoking and surround herself with supportive family and friends.

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Albert Hale watches his 100th birthday parade roll by. Laureen LaBrash

“He had a good wife for over 70 years and he worked hard. Those are his answers!”

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