It was a special day in a retirement home in Regina for one resident. Veteran Norman Johnson celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends and special dignitaries who gathered at the Renaissance Retirement Residence on Friday.
“It’s overwhelming. I did not expect this,” said Johnson.
The celebration started with a bagpipe entrance with Johnson and his wife walking in, hand in hand. The Legion and member of Parliament Michael Kram made special speeches to mark an incredible milestone and also his service in the Royal Air Force (RAF).
“Norm, it’s tough to imagine all of the changes that you’ve seen over the years in terms of technology, fashion and world events,” said Kram. “But of course, the single greatest event that you’ve seen and participated in has to be the Second World War…. You answered the call and contributed to that struggle, which makes you and your generation a generation of heroes.”
Johnson fought in Europe as a pilot for the RAF in the Second World War. After the war was over, Johnson came back to Canada in 1950 with his wife and started his new job as a printer at the Regina Leader-Post.
Johnson isn’t the first in his family to reach their centennial. His mother and brother also celebrated the incredible milestone. But for Johnson, turning 100 didn’t feel any different.
“Felt just like any other morning, to tell you the truth,” he said. “Being 100 doesn’t make any difference to me.”
Johnson and his wife had three children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and he is waiting for the birth of his first great-great-grandchild.