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Mount Albert veteran celebrates 99th birthday

It was a special day for Mount Albert resident Jim Parks.

The Second World War veteran and one of the last surviving Canadian's to step foot on Juno Beach celebrated his 99th birthday Wednesday with friends, family and legion members at the Canadian Legion in Newmarket.

When asked how it feels to be turning 99, Parks said, he doesn't feel any different. "I'm still in fairly good condition. I'm able to get around, and I still drive, and I go to the fitness centre three times a week – that keeps me out of mischief, you know." He adds that the trick to turning 99 is simply not taking life too seriously.

Parks has been married to his wife, Genevieve, for 70 years, and they have four children together.

Not only was this a birthday celebration but also to honour the contributions Parks has made to Canada over the years.

In 1934, at age 10, Parks joined the Army Cadets; in 1940, he joined the NPAM (Reserves) Winnipeg Rifles.

Parks landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, when he was only 19 years old, with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles to begin the liberation of France from Nazi Germany.

Parks was also involved in other significant engagements, including the Battle of Putot and the Battle of Carpiquet.

In 1964, Parks retired as a Major. Top Stories

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