Reginan celebrates physically distanced 100th birthday with family, cake and beer

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Charlie Cox celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends outside his College Park residence in Regina on Sunday. (CBC News - image credit)
Charlie Cox celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends outside his College Park residence in Regina on Sunday. (CBC News - image credit)

Charlie Cox had a low-key physically distanced party in celebration of becoming a centenarian with family and friends on Sunday.

"Other than a birthday cake … and a game of crib, that's about all," said Cox."Oh, yeah, and maybe some beers."

Cox has been a Regina resident since the 1960s, and his 100th birthday party was held outside of his College Park retirement residence.

He was a paratrooper in the Second World War. Cox was captured by German forces in September 1944 and was a POW until April 1945.

On Saturday he was taken for a ride to visit his former neighbourhood. Along the way there were people with signs and vehicles hocking to acknowledge him.

Charlie Cox was a paratrooper in the Second World War.
Charlie Cox was a paratrooper in the Second World War.(CBC News)

"I wondered what they were doing," Cox chuckled, "And then I started waving back."

Granddaughter Jennifer Vongkhaophet said Cox is the patriarch to five generations.

"He is doing really, really good, amazing, really," Vongkhaophet said, adding family keeps in touch with him through phone calls and video chats.

On Sunday the family treated Cox to a steak dinner and more is planned for him.

"When COVID goes away, we're going to get a party bus and go on a country drive," Vongkhaophet said.

Cox said one of the things he has missed is dances at the local Legion. Legion officials have said once the restrictions are lifted they hope to reopen their lounge and bring Charlie in for a tour.

Cox said he followed a simple rule to make it to 100.

"Don't forget, keep breathing," he said. "I kept that advice, to keep on breathing. I should keep (breathing) until I'm 110 anyway."