A Second World War veteran in Kingston, Ont., celebrated his 100th birthday on Monday.
July 6 marked a major milestone for Morris Charlton, whose friends and family organized a birthday parade for him outside his long-term care home.
“I never saw so many people just for me,” Charlton said.
The veteran added: “It’s been a beautiful day so far, and I just hope everyone is having a good time.”
Celebrating Charlton while social distancing was important to his family.
“For 100 years old, he’s very sharp. He still reads the newspaper, watches documentaries, loves to play cards and stays active,” said his son, Bob Charlton.
“Veterans are very important to us, and this is just one way of paying back for the service that he gave in his time of service to his country,” said Gord Rittwage, treasurer of Legion Branch 631.
Charlton joined the military at the young age of 14 and worked as a radio operator.
“They discovered he was too young to fight when he turned 16, so they were returning him back home, and by the time he got home, he turned 16 and decided to stay,” Bob said.
He was shot twice in the leg and still bears the scars to this day.
Once the war was over, Charlton returned to Canada, where he and his wife raised their four children in Kingston, Ont.
Now, due to the restrictions that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, his family comes to visit him through the window at his current residence in Arbour Heights, a long-term care home in Kingston.
“He’s a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather to many siblings and young ones,” Bob said.