John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s John Kromhoff has more than 1,000 birthday cards and letters – so far

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

John Kromhoff has been pleasantly surprised by all the birthday cards and letters he’s received and would like everyone to know he truly appreciates it.

“It’s amazing,” Kromhoff told the Langley Advance Times on Monday, June 14.

With 10 days to go before he turns 100, Kromhoff has been inundated with cards and letters, more than 1,000 so far.

“I got them from pretty near every place in the world,” Kromhoff told the Langley Advance Times.

In addition to cards and messages from students at local schools and area residents, he’s seen mail from as far away as Europe and parts of the U.S., including Alaska, California and Texas.

“I even have a letter from Buckingham Palace, but not from the Queen,” he chuckled, “not yet, anyway.”

He described the many messages of support as “tremendous.”

“Some were saying it was quite an undertaking to get to 100 years old.”

READ MORE: John Kromhoff doesn’t think he’ll get many 100th birthday cards

Kromhoff, who resides at the Chartwell Langley Gardens care residence in Walnut Grove, had made his peace with a scaled-down birthday celebration during the pandemic, amid limits on gatherings that would prevent him from seeing all of his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren and great-children at one time, all 54 of them.

When his family issued an invitation to have people send him cards, he didn’t expect he would receive very many, and is delighted to be proven wrong.

“It’s really a pleasure [to read them],” he said.

When he was born in New Westminster, in 1921, Kromhoff recalled, “they had hard rubber tires on cars and no television, and the roads all used to have names instead of numbers.”

He grew up on a 40-acre turkey farm, and after his parents shut it down, he got into real estate when he sold off parcels of the family property for development.

“The average price of a lot at that time was about $300,” he recalled, chuckling. “We sold too soon.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A drive-by Grandparents Day at Langley retirement residence

“I never did work for anyone else, except my own companies,” Kromhoff reminisced.

He started out building houses, then moved into real estate, and then, financing.

Cards may still be mailed to:

John Kromhoff

c/o 8888 202nd Street,

Langley, B.C.

V1M 4A7


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