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Former Coaldale mayor honoured with drive-by parade after turning 100

Click to play video: 'Former Coaldale mayor celebrates 100th birthday, shares secret to long life' Former Coaldale mayor celebrates 100th birthday, shares secret to long life
WATCH ABOVE: Having lived most of his 100 years in Coaldale, Alta., Alan Graham was celebrated by the tight-knit community during a bee-themed parade on Sunday. Eloise Therien has more on how the centenarian is feeling about reaching the rare milestone and how he thinks he got there – Sep 10, 2020

Throughout his life, Alan Graham has accomplished many feats, from becoming mayor three times to being named Coaldale Citizen of the Year alongside his wife in 2015.

Now, he gets to cross off another item from the list: becoming the town’s next centenarian.

On Sunday, dozens of family, friends, and community members hosted a bee-themed drive-by parade to celebrate Graham’s 100th birthday in a COVID-19-friendly way.

“We thought it just was really important to make that connection with the community,” said Graham’s youngest daughter Margot Mack. “Good friends are truly family, and family are good friends.”

Read more: Second World War veteran celebrates 100th birthday in Kingston

Graham moved from England to Coaldale in the early 1920s with his family, and would soon take after his father as a second-generation beekeeper.

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“The honey farm is still my dream,” he said.

As well as beekeeping, Graham has made many impacts to the Town of Coaldale in the political realm. He served as mayor from 1953 to 1957, from 1962 to 1967, and was elected for a third time in 1998 for another three years.

Through these terms, he holds the title of both youngest and oldest mayor of Coaldale.

Graham is a founding member of the Coaldale Kinsmen Club, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Coaldale Public Library.

Read more: 92-year-old Kingston, Ont., man walking 92 km to raise money for food bank, veterans

His son Dick Lemaistre says his father is one-of-a-kind in his care for those around him.

“He taught me many things about what life is all about,” he said. “Perseverance, gentleness, gratitude, things like that.”

While living to 100 isn’t unheard of, Graham says he has a few secrets to his longevity.

“Well I have a famous little saying and I’ll just keep repeating it: it’s wine, women and song,” Graham said. “In that order.”

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