World War II Veteran Celebrates His 103rd Birthday

Trinidad and Tobago’s Hector Simeon now in his 103rd year, has served his country well. This was evident from the numerous accolades paid to Mr. Simeon during a simple birthday celebration on April 26, 2022. Mr. Simeon born on April 8th, 1919 was visited by the Ministry’s Division of Ageing and Corporate Communications and Education Unit to be honoured, as part of the Ministry’s National Centenarian Programme.

Mr. Simeon served as an officer in World War II. Mr. Simeon was also a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s Defence Force, Police Service, and Prisons Service. He was also part of the security detail for Dr. Eric Williams.  When representatives visited the Centenarian, he was enjoying one of his favourite past times of crossword puzzles. He also stated that he also enjoys playing dominos and counselling people.

During the visit, Mr. Simeon told representatives that he grew up in Tableland, Moruga but was born in Sweden to a Swedish father and a Vincentian mother. In terms of his secret to ageing so well, he told the younger generation that actions are greater than words. According to Mr. Simeon, “It is very tough to give younger people advice. You have to display you before them so that they will see your actions and know what they are for.”

Mr. Simeon also said that God ought to be taught to children at every level of their education. “There are all kinds of religions, but nobody says that they belong to God. There should be a programme educationally in the school. Every grade you make in school should have a programme to teach about God otherwise it’s no use.” He said.

Mr. Simeon also shared many stories about his experience in the World War stating “At one time it was good but at other times, you wished you were not born.” Following the visit, the father of six, grandfather to approximately thirteen, and great-grandfather to three thanked the Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator the Honourable Donna Cox for the recognition.

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services was pleased to honour our latest centenarian and encourage family and loved ones, Members of Parliament, Local Government representatives, friends, and neighbours to salute our nation’s centenarians by registering for the Programme.  Persons may visit the Ministry’s website at www.social.gov.tt and complete the online form or print a downloadable form for completion. Completed forms may be dropped off at the nearest Social Welfare Office or emailed to the Division of Ageing at opic@social.gov.tt. For more information, persons may contact the Division of Ageing at 623 – 2608; Ext 2001 to 2009 or 800-OPIC (6742).

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