Clyde Bingham has celebrated many milestones on the Semiahmoo Peninsula – including retirement and marriage to his current wife – and he added one more to the list when marking his 100th birthday last weekend.
Family and friends gathered Feb. 12 for lunch and cake at Seaview Pentecostal Church, a place that holds significant meaning to the centenarian.
Not only has Bingham attended the church since the 1940s, but he worked on the building during his more than 40-year career in construction.
In fact, Bingham has had a hand in the building of many structures in White Rock – such as Peace Arch Hospital – as well as countless others around the province.
It’s the hard work and dedication he exhibited during his career, as well as ensuring to take care of himself, that have kept him going strong through the years.
But Bingham has another secret.
“People ask me how I’ve lived so long and I say ‘Tim Hortons coffee and donuts,’” he quipped.
Bingham – who is also known around town as Bing – started his life in Idaho, before moving with his family to an Alberta farm in 1917, when he was six.
He relocated to Cranbrook after marrying his first wife, Evelyn, in 1934, and welcomed their daughter, Barbara, into the world three years later.
He worked and lived in various towns before settling in White Rock in 1947.
Bingham took construction jobs all over B.C., and worked in the field until he was 80, when he “thought it was time to quit.”
He was also quite the traveller throughout his life, visiting destinations such as Cairo, Japan, Singapore, Bali, Australia and New Zealand.
“I’ve been pretty well around the world.”
After Evelyn died in 1988, Bingham met current wife Lorna at church.
They married in 1991.
The two now live in an assisted- living unit at White Rock’s Evergreen Heights, where a party was held on his actual birthday, Feb. 10.
Bingham said he keeps busy and is in good shape – both mentally and physically – save for a decline in mobility.
“If it wasn’t for my legs, I’d be fine,” he said. “I think I’ve got most my marbles.”
As for the milestone birthday, Bingham gave little weight to any emotions one might expect to feel upon hitting the big 100.
“I don’t know if I feel any different than I did when I was 90.”