“What a Guy!”: Aurora’s Stoddart Drive and Coffee Friends Help Bill Kudelski celebrate his 100th birthday
When former Mayor Tim Jones organized a drive-by parade for his coffee buddy Bill Kudelski’s 99th birthday at the start of the pandemic last year, he hadn’t expected to hold another physical distance celebration on the occasion of his friend’s 100th birthday.
But on the morning of April 27, Kudelski and Jones, along with about two dozen friends and family members, gathered outside on Stoddart Drive to celebrate that Kudelski had hit the mark of the century.
“Bill is someone we should all strive for – still driving and getting around independently, surrounded by lots of friends and loving family. What a guy! ”Said Jones.
For about 25 years, the two men met with a dozen other friends every morning at 7:00 am at McDonald’s on Yonge Street and Allaura Boulevard to “shoot the guff”.
But Kudelski has not been able to take part in the coffee clapping since the pandemic in March 2020.
These days he usually only goes out to shop.
But he was happy to welcome his friends and loved ones to his outdoor birthday party.
“It was very good, very good, we had a lot here. We stood on the street, even the neighbors were everywhere and everyone from the café was there, ”he said.
“We spent about an hour on the road. It wasn’t bad, it was a little cool, but everything was fine. It was very good, it was very nice, and I was very happy. “
The colon cancer survivor, who recently had his fourth pacemaker inserted, says he is fortunate to be able to continue to live independently.
When asked what it feels like to turn 100, the widower said it wasn’t a big deal.
“I don’t know, I feel the same as I did yesterday,” he said with a laugh.
Born and raised on a farm in Manitoba before moving to Ontario where he opened fast food hamburger restaurants, the grandfather said hard work was the secret of his long life.
“I worked very hard when I left home when I was 18 years old with nothing, just my pants, a shirt and my shoes,” he said.
“Other than that, I feel happy.”