Still going at 104
Spaniard’s Bay man living in triple digits
In 2005, the average age at death for Canadians was 74.2 years. Cecil Greenland just finished his 30th year living beyond that threshold.
The native of Coley’s Point, who now lives in Spaniard’s Bay, celebrated his 104th birthday on Oct. 4 with family and friends at the home of his granddaughter, Jennifer Wilson.
Born in 1906, Greenland was something of a renaissance man when it came to work. He started out as a fisherman, spending time on the coast of Labrador, but eventually switched to carpentry and found work in the United States. He later returned to Newfoundland and became a teacher, while also keeping his hands busy with carpentry work and some heavy equipment operating jobs.
Though he may have officially retired in his mid-60s, Greenland never retired from life, according to his daughter, Linda Holmes.
“I don’t even know if he’s still retired yet, to tell you the truth,” she says with a laugh. “Everyday he’s out in the shack puttering around and making little things ... When he’s out there, he says he feels like he’s 50.”
Married three times, Greenland is the father of five children — his son Norman passed away last year. Beyond that, he has 14 grandchildren, over a dozen great-grandchildren, and multiple great-great-grandchildren as well.
“He enjoys his life, and he just takes it one day at a time,” says Linda. “He lives his days to the fullest.”
Cecil Greenland was flanked by some of his great-great-grandchildren — the fourth generation of the Greenland clan — to help celebrate his 104th birthday on Oct. 4. Pictured with Greenland are, from the left, Isaac Wilson, Harley Smith, and Noah Wilson.