Alf Sauder served in the Second World War. He’s been the president of the Carrot River, Sask. Legion. And Sauder can beat anyone in a game of cribbage.
But he’d never tell you those things.
“He’s very humble,” Bob Duns, Sauder’s son-in-law, says.
Feb. 2, marked another accomplishment for Sauder — turning 100 years old.
The 100-year-old is one of only two Second World War veterans left in Carrot River.
Sauder served from 1942 to 1945 in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka. He was an airframe mechanic, on patrol over the Indian Ocean.
“He never wants to be recognized in any major way. He says he’s just another guy in the service,” Duns tells CTV News.
After serving, Sauder moved back to Carrot River to farm, and later joined the Legion.
Pat Clancy, current president of the Legion branch, describes Sauder as a soft-spoken farm boy.
But he’ll never forget the Remembrance Day Sauder lead the ceremony, and shattered people’s perception of him.
“This big strapping guy, who was outspoken for the most part, started barking commands. You could hear him over the pipes,” Clancy says, laughing.
“We got back to the hall for the rest of the Remembrance Day ceremony, and all of a sudden, he's back to his quiet mild-mannered self. You wouldn't know that he could be a Sergeant-At-Arms. But by golly we marched in time, me being the drummer, I had to make darn sure we were in the right step. If you didn’t, you’d hear about it!”
Outside of the Legion, you could find Sauder fishing, hunting, curling or playing cribbage.
“He’s a great player. If you like a good game of crib, he’s the man to ask,” Sauder’s son-in-law says.
Sauder spent his 100th birthday in the Nipawin hospital, but Duns said he’s hopeful he’ll be released soon. And when he is, a birthday drive-by is in order. And once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Duns expects there’ll be a family party.
Sauder has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.