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Alberta man marks his 100th birthday in the boxing ring

Okotoks' Wally Vickberg puts on the gloves to score unanimous decision before retiring to the dining room for birthday cake.
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Wally Vickberg asked to be in a boxing match as part of his 100th birthday celebration at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20.

Wally Vickberg, a resident of Tudor Manor in Okotoks, turned 100 on Sept. 20. 

His birthday party featured a visit from the fire department, a big cake and something not typically associated with a 100th celebration — a boxing match.

Members of the Okotoks Fire Department drove a fire engine to the care home to help celebrate the occasion. 

After Vickberg climbed in the truck and asked firefighters questions about the equipment they use, a boxing ring was set up inside Tudor Manor.

Vickberg put the gloves on and defeated his opponent, by unanimous decision, in four rounds before retiring to the dining room for birthday cake. The energetic centenarian had asked for the boxing match for his birthday.

Arriving in Canada from Finland in the 1920s as a child, Vickberg settled in Ontario with his family, said his daughter Carol Burren. 

They moved to Alberta about 30 years ago. 

Burren said her dad is into fitness and good living, and his secret is staying active.

Vickberg would park his car at the far end of the parking lot anytime he drove somewhere, so he could get extra walking in. He also had weights in his living room that he would lift while watching TV. 

He served in the Navy aboard the destroyer HMS Hamilton during the Second World War, working in the engine room on escort missions. 

He was joined at his 100th birthday celebration by friends, his daughter, his son-in-law and staff at Tudor Manor, and he thoroughly enjoyed the visit from the fire department. 

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Wally Vickberg asks a firefighter about equipment used by the Okotoks Fire Department during his 100th birthday celebration at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca
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Wally Vickberg checks out an oxygen mask on Okotoks Fire's Engine 81 while celebrating his 100th birthday at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca
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Wally Vickberg, center, with family, friends, and firefighters during his 100th birthday party at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca
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Wally Vickberg, right, lands a good one while boxing against Jonas Fernandez, left, on Vickberg's 100th birthday at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca
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Wally Vickberg was declared the unanimous winner of the boxing match, after four rounds, during his 100th birthday celebration at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca
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Wally Vickberg is presented a cake while celebrating his 100th birthday at Tudor Manor in Okotoks on Sept. 20. Robert Korotyszyn/OkotoksToday.ca