A 100th birthday is a rare and momentous occasion, one that was marked at the Royal Canadian Legion, Vernon Branch.
World War II veteran Herbert ‘Buck’ Rogers is one of the last of his kind. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces when he was 18-years-old and his war career lasting six and a half years.
“We were drinking a jug of wine on a railway bridge with a couple of girls and porky says ‘let’s go join the army, Buck’. So down we go took the old man’s car and went down to Fredericton and joined the army,” said Hubert.
Rogers was stationed as a gunner in Italy for 22 months, in North Africa for 35 days, he spent some time in Belgium and helped liberate the Netherlands from the German Army.
When he came home, he was married to his wife, Evelyn after knowing her for only one week and they stayed married for 68 years until she died. Saturday, Oct. 17 he became a centenarian cheered on by his son, daughter in law and grandson who travelled from Calgary and a few close friends from Vernon.
“The legion is kind of getting smaller because people like Herb, there’s just not people that age even 80 or 100 that are active, still part of the legion,” said Norm Crerar, friend. “To see these people there still in their uniform still saluting it’s in their heart and it’s in their soul.”
The celebration of the war hero’s birthday milestone comes a month ahead of Remembrance Day ceremonies that will take place mostly virtually across the country on Nov. 11.