A Ponoka war veteran is being recognized by Seasons Retirement Communities as a recipient of their ‘Remarkable Residents’ award.
The award, in its ninth year, celebrates their diverse residents, their stories, and the lives they’ve impacted over the years, honouring their remarkable lives.
Jim Horne was selected by Seasons because he is a “great example of resiliency and a positive mindset,” said Amanda White, senior director of marketing and communications.
Horne, who will be 99 in September, was a sergeant in the army during the Second World War, serving in the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment.
“A WWII veteran, Jim dealt with PTSD when he returned home. This would have been particularly challenging during this era, with fewer mental health supports and the stigma surrounding it,” said White.
“Despite this, Jim built a wonderful family and enjoyed travelling, which included horseback trips throughout the Rocky Mountains.”
“I have met so many great people and feel such a sense of community at Seasons,” said Horne.
“While we have all faced unique challenges in our lives, I hope that by others hearing my story they will be inspired to seek assistance and live their own remarkable lives.”
While stationed in England, he met his wife Victoria, which is one of his most favourite memories.
“When I was on leave, I would stay with my future wife’s family and we had many fun times,” he said.
Victoria lives with him at Seasons and they celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, in a COVID-19 safe way with the help of Seasons staff. She will be 95 this month.
When asked what he learned about resiliency from serving in the war, Horne said, “I learned to live on low rations. I needed to rely on my comrades and also be there for them.”
If he was to give his younger self advice, he would say “to not turn down the opportunity for adventure and take the paths offered to you. Don’t ever regret taking a chance; life is too short.”
His advice for the current generation facing hard times is to, “Stick with it and don’t give up.”
His personal motto which he lives by in his daily life is to not give up and treat people the way you want to be treated.
Each Seasons retirement home with a semi-finalist received a $100 Visa gift card, a framed certificate designating them as an official semi-finalist and a printed signed letter from the CEO, Mike Lavallée.
“We started this program to recognize the incredible achievements of the residents who live with us and celebrate them,” said White.
”Many of the stories we read are about overcoming obstacles and achieving great things, despite incredible hardship.
“We know the pandemic has been challenging to so many people. Seasons residents have much to teach us about resiliency, determination and the power of positive thinking.”