100 years young: Family, friends, firefighters celebrate Bill Cope’s birthday in Errington

Neighbours (in truck) Jon Cockcroft, Marinda Cockcroft and Sarah Cockcroft wish Bill Cope a happy 100th birthday. (Peter McCully photo)
Bill Cope waves to passersby during his 100th birthday celebration Sunday in Errington. (PQB News screen grab)
Neighbours Dan Gray, Sandy Gray and Kristina Gray wish Bill Cope a happy 100th birthday. (Peter McCully photo)
Bill Cope, Mulroney and Doug Moriarity in July 1954 in Havelock building the 401 highway. (Photo submitted)
Stella and William ‘Bill’ Cope share a moment during their 75th wedding anniversary celebration at Eagle Park Manor on March 28, 2017. — Zoe Cope photo
Presquisle Point in Ontario around 1940. Front, from left: Aleck MacLam, Bill Cope, Jerry Wright, Jack Shinbien, Flossie MacLam’s brother-in-law. Back, from left: Flossie MacLam, Bernice Shinhein, Stella Cope, Flossie MacLam’s sister. (Photo submitted)
Zoe Cope, with photos of her father Bill, during a celebration of his 100th birthday. (Peter McCully photo)
Bill Cope and his son Bruce Cope. (Photo submitted)

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.”

READ MORE: Errington veteran remembers VE Day

READ MORE: Parksville couple celebrates 75th anniversary

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.”


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