WWII Bomber Command cook celebrates her 100th birthday

Winnifred (Mavis) Magor, who served as a cook with the British Royal Air Force's Bomber Command in the Second World War, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.

Winnifred (Mavis) Magor was born Nov. 9, 1920, in the U.K.

10 days of celebration held for Calgary veteran of Second World War

1 year ago
Duration 0:22
Second World War veteran Winnifred ‘Mavis’ Magor got some special birthday love from the Legion and dignitaries across the country ahead of Remembrance Day. 0:22

Winnifred (Mavis) Magor, who served as a cook with the British Royal Air Force's Bomber Command in the Second World War, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday.

Magor rang in the occasion with visitors from the Royal Canadian Legion, who joined her outside the Carewest Colonel Belcher long-term care centre for tea and cake and to sing Happy Birthday.

  • Watch her reaction to the birthday wishes in the video above

She also received congratulatory letters from the Queen, Governor General, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and had a visit from local police in uniform — something the centenarian said had her worried she was in trouble. It was all part of a "10 Days of Mavis" initiative to send her well wishes.

"It's been quite a week and quite a celebration, I've never had a celebration like that in all my life," Magor said.

Magor was born in the United Kingdom on Nov. 9, 1920.

At age 22, she joined the RAF. She cooked for the members of Bomber Command — preparing meals like bread pudding, rabbit stew and toad-in-the-hole for pilots. 

WWII veteran Winnifred (Mavis) Magor celebrated her 100th birthday in Calgary on Monday. (Submitted)

Magor broke into tears at the memory of that time.

"On Bomber Command … you'd wonder how many would come back," she said. 

She served until 1946, when she — along with five million other servicemen and women — were demobilized. Instead of returning to the U.K., she boarded a ship for Canada, where she has lived since. 

Magor never married, and she has no close family in Calgary. 

She said that after 100 years, the best wisdom she can share is to live life as best you can.

"Live your life as best you can because you never know what's around the corner. That's what I did."

With files from Andrew Brown


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?