100-year-old Winnipegger graduates with high school diploma
Saint Paul’s High School awards former student Leo Flood honorary diploma on 100th birthday
A 100-year-old Winnipegger graduated with his high school diploma today.
"I have had a great life," said Leo Flood. "But one of my biggest regrets was not being able to finish my studies at Saint Paul's High School."
Saint Paul's High School president awarded Flood with the honorary diploma on Thursday morning, as he celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family.
Flood told part of his story to Father Leonard Altilia during a mass at the Misericordia Place personal care home in Winnipeg, where he now lives.
"I introduced myself at the mass as the President of St.Paul's High School," Altilia said. "As I was leaving the mass, Leo stopped me and said 'Father, you know I went to St.Paul's High School? I'm going to be 100!"
Atilia said it is was a unique privilege to be able to bestow a 100-year-old graduate with a degree.
I just lived and worked, that's' it. If you wanted a cord of wood, I'd bring it to you!- Leo Flood
Flood was born in Forget, Sask. in 1914.
At the age of 14, he began at the all-boys prep school in 1928. Tuition was $200 back then, he recalled.
The drought and the depression forced Leo to abandon his high school education in 1930 to join the workforce and help his family with finances for 13 brothers and sisters.
He started working as a driver for a local trucking company.
“I must have driven a million miles,” Leo stated in a St. Paul’s press release.
Over the course of his long life, Flood worked as a trucker, lumberjack, farmer, janitor and even a lady's underwear salesman at one point.
"He sold women's underwear at one point" said Gerald Flood, Leo's son. "He had to do this because he had been run over by a tractor and his leg was almost amputated."
Leo said leading a simple life and staying committed to his faith is what kept him healthy all these years.
"I just lived and worked, that's' it," he said. "If you wanted a cord of wood, I'd bring it to you!"