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Meet Canada’s oldest newest Canadian, John Hillman of Oak Bay

103-year-old performs official oath in English and French to earn citizenship July 21

Seated at the dining room table, laptop in front of him, large Canada flag behind, John Hillman snips his permanent resident card into four pieces.

As deer munched the ocean-view garden under sunny skies outside, cutting the card was the first step in the 103-year-old Oak Bay man officially becoming Canadian. The act was part of registration for the virtual ceremony the morning of July 21, and once fully registered, Hillman asked the individual registering him if he was the oldest in the bunch that day.

The registrar elicited chuckle from Hillman as they assured him, he was the oldest new Canadian citizen they’d ever seen.

About 70 minutes later, alongside 104 others representing 32 countries, Hillman took the oath, in both official languages, and became a Canadian citizen.

“It’s a little more than I expected, but it was nice,” Hillman said after the virtual ceremony.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay’s philanthropic centenarian scores Canadian citizenship

The British veteran came to Canada more than two decades ago, landing in a condo on Beach Drive.

He now resides at Carlton House of Oak Bay, where he has hosted walking fundraisers three consecutive years, raising more than $300,000 for Save the Children. In 2020, at the age of 100, he was inspired by fellow centenarian and British veteran, the late Capt. Tom Moore who raised funds walking laps at his UK residence.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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