Friends, family and firefighters turned out to celebrate Bill Cope’s 100th birthday.
The procession took place Sunday (one day ahead of Cope’s actual birthday) on Grafton Avenue in Errington, honouring the Second World War veteran.
Cope’s storied career with the Canadian Forces included a four-year period as a tank driver, gunner and instructor during the Second World War. Later, he was stationed in Germany for a 16-year enlistment with the Canadian Air Force.
Granddaughter-in-law Kendra Konsorado, said although they had other plans to celebrate Cope’s birthday, this alternative was especially memorable.
“We just thought it would be so special for the family to be able to at least see Grandpa on his birthday,” she said. “The family was super thrilled to be able to at least see Grandpa and wave to him.”
Cope and the members of his household walked to the end of their driveway and got to see the people who would have stopped by the house for his party. Social distancing protocol was in place, but everyone still got to wish Cope a Happy Birthday.
“We were just going to have an open house, sort of drop by, family and friends,” she said. “But we kind of think, being 100, that maybe this actually worked better.”
Konsorado said Cope felt lucky to be able to see family and friends and be celebrated despite the COVID-19 situation and the social distancing that comes with it.
“He was thrilled, I think he was very touched by it,” she said. “It couldn’t have gone off better.”