Porcupine Plain’s Cliff Olson is just one year away from holding the somewhat rare designation of supercentenarian.
With his 109th birthday February 17, Olson will unofficially be the oldest living man in Saskatchewan and second oldest in Canada. Olson, who lives at the Red Deer Nursing Home in Porcupine Plain, is modest when discussing the extraordinary feat.
“I feel like I must have been doing something right. I guess I ate right,” he commented.
Second-oldest in a family of three boys and four girls, Olson grew up playing ball, hockey and frequently rode a unicycle in the late 60s and 70s. He has a knack for woodworking and is a talented, self-taught whittler who carved necklaces out of broomsticks, admitting his mother didn’t initially appreciate her broomsticks being used for his craft. At 75 years old, he married his late wife Ruby, a union that lasted over 20 years.
The most significant change he has witnessed over his lifetime has been in farming.
“I drove seven horses and a plow tandem through headlands,” he recalled about farming his family’s section of land as a 17-year-old.
“I’m not planning anything really,” Olson shared about his birthday. His only wish - to enjoy some angel food cake - a treat his sisters always used to make to celebrate his birthday.
Red Deer Nursing Home (RDNH) resident Cliff Olson will celebrate his 109th birthday on February 17. Longevity seems to be in the family genes – his 99-year-old brother also lives in RDNH and he has a 105-year-old sister living in Nokomis.