With the average life expectancy seemingly being reduced, it’s a blessing to be able to celebrate the milestone achievements of centenarians.
For the Grimmond family, the celebration of their patriarch’s 100th birthday last weekend was bitter sweet.
A year ago after joining family members to mark David Grimmond’s 99th birthday, his grand-daughter, Carol Grimmond, was killed when the car she and her twin brother were travelling in was struck by a vehicle that was going the wrong way on Highway 407 near Highway 403.
They had just left the celebration and were on their way to their mother’s Oakville home.
“This is a difficult time for the family,” said father of the deceased, Claude Grimmond, who is an educator and conflict management professional. “On the one hand, we are here to celebrate a milestone and then on the other side, we are missing a key family member who is no longer with us. It’s real hard.”
Richmond Hill Mayor David Barrow and Member of Provincial Parliament Reza Moridi joined family members and friends at the birthday celebration last Saturday.
Born and raised in a rural Guyanese village, Grimmond was a member of the local police service, rising to the rank of deputy superintendent before migrating to Canada in 1974. He worked as a security officer at St. Michael’s Hospital and for the Ontario government and was a school crossing guard before retiring.
Despite his advanced age, Grimmond – who has had a few minor strokes – is still alert.
“He’s always on the phone touching base with his grandchildren and their children to find out how they are doing,” said Claude Grimmond.
The centenarian, who celebrated his landmark birthday on October 3, and his wife of 61 years – Burness – reside in a Richmond Hill condo. In addition to their children Claude, Alfred, David, Keith, Louis and Eldica, they have 17 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.