Last week we had an announcement in our classified section telling the world that Bob Maxwell is 90. That in itself is quite the achievement, but it's the life in this man that's amazing, not just the number of years he's graced planet Earth.
Every year I see Bob at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Gibsons Legion. Although his mobility is limited now and he uses a wheelchair, Bob's still able to salute with the best of them. A veteran of the Second World War, he wears his medals proudly, and judging by the large smile he sports every year, Bob enjoys meeting up with his old comrades.
Last November he was busy taking pictures with his digital camera. I felt honoured when he asked me to take his picture - with his camera. And more than a little humbled that this man so many years my senior could master technology that to me is mostly Greek. Fortunately the folks at Nikon make cameras goof-proof for technophobes like me. The other part of Bob's life that is long-lived is his marriage to Joy. And every year she's by his side for another year of remembering. Joined in holy matrimony for over 60 years, they make a handsome couple. Although looking after Bob takes most of her time now, Joy was for many years a tireless worker for the Gibsons chapter of the St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary. Like many people raised in a bygone era, both the Maxwells knew the meaning of community contribution. Unlike the young folks of today, their youth was spent defending their country against the threat of Hitler. And when the war was over, they, along with others of their generation, went to work rebuilding Canada, a country still recovering from the effects of a major depression. This week we have another birthday tribute to a grand lady. Jean Wyngaert is 98. She's a long-time pioneer of the area and a past Gibsons Golden Girl. She's also one of the friendliest, happiest seniors I've ever known. Always smiling, her gentle personality makes her a joy to know. And as our picture in the community section shows, Jean always looks great.
I think the world would be a better place if the some of the community-building traits of these fine people could be fostered in our young folks. After all, it's not the years in your life but the life in your years that count.
Happy birthday, Bob and Jean, and many more to you both.