Ponoka-born man celebrates centennial birthday

More than 60 family and friends came to celebrate Gwernydd Reese’s 100th birthday held Sunday, Aug. 23 at the Golden Leisure Lodge.

Gwernydd Reese celebrated his 100th birthday with cake and family Sunday

Gwernydd Reese celebrated his 100th birthday with cake and family Sunday

More than 60 family and friends came to celebrate Gwernydd Reese’s 100th birthday held Sunday, Aug. 23 at the Golden Leisure Lodge.

The trick, says Reese, is to have a love for dancing. “I love music. Once I heard music, my feet would tickle, eh.”

Although he doesn’t dance as much as he used to, Reese was known to be a big dancer not too many years ago said his niece Ivy Wilson. There were usually three or four dancing partners who enjoyed cutting a rug with him.

Reese’s father, who died when he was 11, was an organist, which added to Reese’s involvement with music in his life. Dancing wasn’t the only area of music Reese would take part in. He is known to have been singing in many choirs in Ponoka over the years.

Reese was born east of Ponoka in the Welsh district and went to school at Climax School and Magic School, part of the Wood River district at the time. Friendship, said Reese, is something that has always kept him going in life and in the Ponoka area, which is one reason he lived at his original home for 60 years.

He was the middle of five children with twin siblings, Ogwen and Olwen, and Mwinwen and Emrys completing the list. Because of his age, Reese has a great nephew; a great, great niece and nephew and a great, great, great niece and nephew with some of them able to attend his birthday celebration.

There are not many homes that Reese lived in; first was where he was born, second was a home in Riverside in Ponoka and his third and present home is at the Golden Leisure Lodge.

Among the many presentations for the new centenarian were letters from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Rachel Notley and the Governor General of Canada and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.