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Kelowna man celebrates 100th birthday

David Keir celebrates his 100th birthday Friday. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
David Keir celebrates his 100th birthday Friday.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

If David Keir's walls could talk…on second thought, they do.

Thousands of items—ornaments, model airplane parts, mounted deer heads, posters, knickknacks—are hung throughout his Rutland home. Each piece represents a small part of David's life story.

Born in Athabasca, AB in 1913, David moved to the Okanagan in the 50s and settled in his current home in 1969.

He celebrates his 100th birthday Friday, but doesn't consider himself old.

"Dad never says he's old, he thinks he's young," says Rita Bos, David's daughter.

That mentality is one of the secrets to his longevity, says Rita.

Another factor is hard work.

Many of the items displayed throughout the house are David's own creations. In one corner of his basement sits a tree made up of hundreds of individual wood carvings. On the other side of the room, in six displays cases, figurines—made of dried apples—create various scenes including a barber shop, hospital and church.

He paces around the house, without a walker or cane, as he shows off his completed projects.

David says working hard and having a continual to-do list has helped him reach 100.

"Most of his life he has been an early riser, getting up to milk the cows before walking to school, then returning when classes were done to do farm chores before supper," says Rita.

During David's interview with Capital News from his home, a few friends stop by for a quick visit. Although David is capable of doing most things on his own, a long list of friends and family members still offer support.

Arnie Koenig has been friends with David for 30 years and helps out with cooking and cleaning.

"He's a man with witty words and a wonderful personality," Arnie says of David.

"He's someone who can share many years of knowledge—we can learn something from him every day."

Time outdoors spent hunting and fishing is how the centenarian hopes to spend his 100th year.

Eager for winter to be over, David glances out his window and says, "I can hardly wait to get outside."

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

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