Friends, family celebrate 100th birthday

White Rock’s newest centenarian celebrated his milestone birthday last week surrounded by family and friends.

Tom Irwin greets guests at a party celebrating his 100th birthday Aug. 26.

Tom Irwin greets guests at a party celebrating his 100th birthday Aug. 26.

White Rock’s newest centenarian celebrated his milestone birthday last week surrounded by family and friends.

Tom Irwin turned 100 Aug. 26, at his home at White Rock Seniors Village, where well-wishers gathered to wish the longtime resident a happy birthday.

Irwin, an avid chess and bridge player, has lived in the retirement community (formerly known as Christina Place) longer than any other resident.

During his time at the Maple Street residence, he created a poetry club, where he recites poems from his youth by heart.

Prior to moving to White Rock, Irwin was a 40-year veteran of the post office in Vancouver, before retiring at the age of 59.

A huge fan of soccer, Irwin followed the Vancouver Whitecaps as far as Mexico and New York in the 1970s to cheer on his hometown team.

He also had a penchant for winning newspaper contests, and racked up numerous winnings – including a speedboat, a car and money – before being banned from entering with the local daily papers because he won so frequently.

Irwin’s birthday celebration saw more than 50 guests mingle and peruse old photographs; the guest of honour also recited four poems, including In Flanders Field, and told a few jokes to the delight of party attendees.