Henry Kriwokon, a Second World War veteran, turned 102 years old on Wednesday.
Kriwokon moved to Penticton, B.C., in 1999 and still lives in the same home he settled down in over 20 years ago.
“I am just enjoying life — today is just another day,” said Kriwokon.
The walls of Kriwokon’s home are covered with photographs, awards and newspaper articles that he has collected over the years.
Those include one of the most famous photos from the Second World War, “Wait for me, Daddy”, and pictured in the lineup of soldiers is Kriwokon.
“As of today, there are only two of us still living from the photo, myself and one of the other soldiers,” said Kriwokon.
After he returned home from war, he worked as a millwright before retiring.
“Then I thought, ‘What I am going to do,’ and just about then the camcorders came out. I got one and I was on the road all day taking photographs,” he said.
Meanwhile, he still lives on his own and although independent he does rely on friends for some help.
“I still have my vehicle and my neighbour drives me around a lot. He loves driving and I love sitting there and enjoying it,” he said.
Denis Ebner volunteers to help Henry run errands and the two of them have become friends.
“I found Henry to be a very inspirational person. When you want to talk politics, or the economy or world affairs, Henry is way ahead of me. And when it comes to computers, he is way smarter than I’ll ever be,” said Ebner.
Ebner and Kriwokon spent time working in Saskatchewan, nearly 20 km away from each other.
“It is very inspiring what he has been through — starting as a dirt farmer and very poor in the 1930s from a little place in Saskatchewan. I worked at a place close to there and although we never met, we had some common ground of a Saskatchewan farming background,” said Ebner.
Henry says that he has no big plans for his birthday other than a few visits with friends and many phone calls.