Regina veteran celebrates 100th birthday by looking back on the century

It was a special day at a nursing home in Regina for a resident. Veteran Norman Johnson celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends and special dignitaries who gathered Friday at the Renaissance Retirement Residence.

“It’s overwhelming. I didn’t expect that,” Johnson said.

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The celebration began with a bagpipe entrance with Johnson and his wife entering, hand in hand. The Legion and MP Michael Kram gave special speeches to mark an incredible milestone and also his service in the Royal Air Force (RAF).

“Norm, it’s hard to imagine all the changes you’ve seen over the years in terms of technology, fashion and world events,” Kram said. “But of course the biggest event you have seen and been part of has to be World War II…. You answered the call and contributed to this fight, which makes you and your generation a generation of heroes.

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Johnson fought in Europe as an RAF pilot in World War II. After the war ended, Johnson returned to Canada in 1950 with his wife and started his new job as a printer at the Regina Leader-Post.

Johnson is not the first in his family to reach his centenary. Her mother and brother also celebrated this incredible milestone. But for Johnson, turning 100 didn’t feel any different.

“Felt like any other morning, to tell you the truth,” he said. “Being 100 makes no difference to me.”

Johnson and his wife have three children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and he is expecting the birth of his first great-great-grandchild.

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