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Parade honours Shannonville veteran’s 100th birthday

Mr. Austin Fuller, proudly wearing beret and ribbon shirt, enjoyed the parade in honour of his 100th birthday from a comfy chair in the shade. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell.

Austin Fuller’s 100th birthday was the cause of a celebratory parade in Shannonville on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Sheltered from the sun by a patio umbrella, Mr. Fuller’s family enjoyed the beautiful day and festivities with him. The new centenarian said the secret to his long life was to, “Always remain active.”

Fuller, who is the last surviving World War II veteran of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, was all smiles as nearly one hundred vehicles passed his home on Milltown Road, beeping horns, waving signs and flashing lights.

The parade of vehicles included friends, relatives, the Tyendinaga Police and Fire Departments, as well as members of the Hasting Prince Edward Regiment.

Fuller, himself a “Hasty P,” proudly wore his red beret and cap badge throughout the parade and was saluted by members representing the Regiment.  He also received a formal salute from the Tyendinaga Fire Department.

Many of the participants in the parade vehicles had presents and cards for Austin. His great-granddaughters, Sayla and Sahara, did an excellent job of receiving these gifts and transporting them to their great-grandpa.

Sayla and Sahara, Austin Fuller’s great grandaughters were happy to accept gifts and cards on his behalf at his 100th birthday celebrations on Thursday, May 20, 2021. Photo by Michelle Dorey Forestell.

Fuller was born in Shannonville in 1921, enlisted in 1940 at the age of 18, and was posted to the Hastings Prince Edward Regiment.

He landed on Pachino Beach in July of 1943 and fought through Sicily, the Italian mainland, and into Holland, finishing his service in that war when the Hasty Ps took the surrender of the German Garrison in Amersfoort, Holland. After serving overseas for more than five years, he took his discharge from the permanent force in 1945.

In January 2021,  Fuller shared stories of his time in the forces with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, and Minister of Veteran Affairs Lawrence McAulay, who awarded the then-99-year-old the Victory Pin and certificates commemorating his service.

Mr. Fuller was married to his late wife, Kathryn, for 74 years, has four children, six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

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