Williams Lake resident Ove Johannesen (third from left)

Williams Lake resident Ove Johannesen (third from left)

Smart 55: Williams Lake resident celebrates 90th birthday

Surrounded by countless friends and family members Ove Johannesen celebrated his 90th birthday Jan. 25.

Surrounded by countless friends and family members, Williams Lake resident Ove Johannesen celebrated his 90th birthday Jan. 25 at the Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre.

A 37-year resident of Williams Lake, Ove — who moved to the city with his wife, Elsie, from Quesnel to work as the original superintendent at Weldwood, the first plywood mill in the lakecity — isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

“You’ve got to keep in shape,” Ove said, adding he shovels snow, uses a rowing machine and a treadmill in his home, and floor curls twice a week at the WLSAC.

Three of Ove’s children — Larry Johannesen, Bonnie Johannesen and Kim Tranq — still live in Williams Lake, while Daryl Johannesen, who travelled to the lakecity for his dad’s birthday bash, lives in North Vancouver.

Ove was born in Norway but moved to Saskatchewan with his family when he was two years old.

After enlisting in the army then returning to Canada to find work, Ove moved west to Quesnel.

He later picked up a love of sports and recreation through golf, baseball, skating, floor curling and any other activity he could find time to squeeze in.

Over the years Ove has competed in multiple BC Seniors Games in floor curling, bringing home medals to Williams Lake and the Cariboo North Zone.

He said he never regretted making the move west of Saskatchewan, and said it’s the people and the scenery that make B.C. and, in particular, Williams Lake a special place to live.

“This is God’s country,” he said. “Friendly people — we’ve got everything here from mountains to desert — you name it.”

During Robbie Burns Night at the Royal Canadian Legion the previous night Ove was honoured by the Williams Lake Pipe Band with a rendition of happy birthday on the bagpipes.