Fred Bardal heads a less than serious clan who gathered recently for this 100th birthday.

Langley man’s 100th birthday brings together family and friends

Fred Bardal is one of 12 children born to parents from Iceland who immigrated to Canada in the 1800s.

It’s fair to say Fred Bardal enjoys a party. He’s had two birthday parties in the past six months.

During the summer was his 99th and a half party, a reason for family and friends to get together for some fun with the 99-year-old resident of Renaissance Retirement Resort.

But Fred jokes that the real reason for the party was in case he didn’t make it to his true birthday, Dec. 17.

That’s when he turned 100.

And it was another reason to have a party with family and friends, held Dec. 3.

Doing the math on this centennarian – this is a man born in the middle of the Great War, which is what the First World War was called when people thought there was not possible way such a horrific event could ever happen again, until it did, fewer than 20 years later.

By the Second World War Fred was old enough to take part. He trained aviation navigators in Manitoba.

After the war, he came west and worked in sales for about two years.

“For a short time, I worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company,” he noted.

It was one of Fred’s brothers who suggested they buy a graphic arts business from the elderly owners. They would be involved in campaigns and promotions for Woodwards for many years, among other businesses. He retired after selling the business.

Fred’s first wife passed away several years ago. They had had one son, Rick who passed away several years ago, and one daughter, Judy who lives in Vernon. Fred now has four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Fred was the 10th of 12 children in the family.

He was born Fridrik Bardal to Halldor and Gudrun Bardal in Winnipeg on Dec. 17, 1916. His parents emigrated to Canada separately in the late 1800s. They met in Winnipeg and married in 1901. Halldor’s family chose the permanent surname of Bardal, to conform to the Western standard of naming.  Fred was only the second generation to carry the surname Bardal.

It was while Fred was retired and travelling with friends on a bus tour in China that he met Dorothy Paterson, a resident of Langley since about the 1970s. They continued their relationship back on Canadian soil, with Fred eventually commenting “By the way, did I say something about getting married a few years ago?”

Her answer had been yes to the first question and yes to this one. They married in 1996 and he moved to Langley. They lived in Brookswood until the move to the seniors residence in Willoughby a few years ago.

Doing the math, that’s marriage at about 80. It was a time when he was, despite retirement, still active. A longtime friend of Dal Richards and Bill Abernethy, Fred was a longtime member of the Gyro Club in Vancouver, a men’s fraternal group with a mandate to create foster friendship. He was also an avid traveller and a member of the Capilano Golf Club. He played the game into his mid-80s.

Knee replacements came along – the first one a decade ago and the second three years later but otherwise, Fred’s enjoyed good health. He admits he’s slowing down a bit now, part of the jokes he constantly slides into conversation.

So when the inevitable question about how he made it to 100 years of age, he retorts with levity.

“I lied,” he quipped.

But he’s also quick to point out that a key factor in his longevity is “that delightful woman” he said pointing to Dorothy.

“I met her and everything else just melted away,” he said.

What’s Dorothy’s take on why he’s made it to 100?

“Stubborness,” she chuckles.

Fred’s advice to younger folks wanting to make the milestone – “Just hang in there… and behave yourself.”

Just Posted

Outdoor terrace opens at City Hall

The outdoor terrace renovation is the final component of the Timms Community Centre renewal.

A GoFundMe for the goats

Matthew Farden surpassed his fundraising goal for Aldergrove’s Happy Herd Farm rescue animals.

Langley Township’s Froese named vice-chair of Mayors’ Council

The Township mayor will be one of the top officials overseeing TransLink.

Holiday market for a mission

The Aldergrove HANDS mission team is hosting a holiday market to raise money for Belize.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read