It was a big celebration for Arnold Hawkins yesterday, in Beaver Harbour, just south of Saint John. He turned 107 years old.
Cheryl McKinley is proud to call him Grandpa Hawkins. She says he is a vibrant man, who loves to talk and has many stories to tell, "He talks about his days out fishing on the boat. He remembered the old roads and they were dirt and one of the biggest things he could remember in Beaver is when they went to pavement."
Hawkins has 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 5 great, great grandchildren, who he loves very much.
McKinley says it is wonderful when her four children go to visit, "They ask to go down to see their Grampie Hawkins. He asks, which one is this and which one is this. Especially my son, he is three years old. He calls him Matthew once in awhile, thinking that he is my brother from way back when, but that's okay. He wants the kids up on his lap, and he likes to rock them and hold them."
Arnold still lives in his own home in Beaver harbour, but now has 24 hour care, and the family take turns visiting to ensure he is well looked after.
"He rewrote his license at 92, I helped him study for it, "McKinley says.
Living to be 107, may even be considered to be hereditary in Arnold's family. His grandmother, lived to be 107 as well.
One thing we all wanted to know, "What's the secret to living to be 107?"
McKinley says she asked him once, "He did say to Tommy Hunter one day, because he asked him. He said Eat Fish. That was his answer. Out in these waters by Beaver Harbour, they have the best tasting haddock."
If you would like to wish Grampie Hawkins a belated 107th birthday, feel free to post your best wishes on Cheryl McKinley's Facebook page.