Centenarian seeks birthday cards

Following in the footsteps of Second World War veteran Fred Arsenault, who put out a call for 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday this March (CSN Vol. 44 #23, “Second World War vet seeks 100 birthday cards”), another centenarian is making a similar request.

Born in the Netherlands during the First World War and just a toddler throughout the 1918-20 flu pandemic, Ann Konkel also survived the Nazi’s bombing of her hometown Rotterdam during the Second World War.

In 1952, she immigrated to Hamilton, Ont., with her husband, who fought with the Polish resistance movement during the war. A teacher and principal in Europe, Konkel first worked as a cleaner at Hamilton’s Henderson General Hospital (now Juravinski Hospital) before retraining as an operating room nurse – a role she retired from at age 65.

Now living through her second pandemic, Konkel was admitted to St. Joseph’s hospital this May after injuring her leg in a fall. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, she was in isolation for several weeks, leading to her granddaughter Laura making a public call for birthday cards for her grandmother’s 105th birthday on July 14.

While her birthday has passed, Konkel is still accepting cards, hundreds of which were already sent her way.

To send Konkel a belated birthday card, write to:

Attn: Ann Konkel
PO Box 10066
Don Mills, ON
M3C 0J9.

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