Nova Scotia

99-year-old war veteran 'overwhelmed' by hundreds of holiday cards

A 99-year-old Second World War veteran living in Dartmouth, N.S., didn’t expect to receive hundreds of cards this holiday season.

Bernice (Bunny) McIntyre was one of the first women to join the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service

Bernice (Bunny) McIntyre hasn't been able to see her family during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the cards have lifted her spirits this holiday season. (Submitted by Laura Campbell)

Bernice (Bunny) McIntyre didn't expect to receive hundreds of festive cards this holiday season.

But after a simple Facebook post by the Royal Canadian Navy, more than 400 Christmas greetings from strangers across Canada have arrived at the 99-year-old woman's door.

"I was overwhelmed because I didn't expect anything like this," McIntyre told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Thursday.

"I'm just an ordinary, everyday person that went to war and came back again, luckily."

McIntyre is a Second World War veteran living in Dartmouth, N.S. She was one of the first women to join the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service.

Like many people, McIntyre hasn't been able to see her family during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"This campaign has made her happy and she's smiling, which she hasn't smiled for the last month or two," Laura Campbell, McIntyre's friend and caretaker, told Information Morning.

McIntyre in her wartime uniform in 1942 or 1943. (Submitted by JoAnn Cunningham)

"It's hard on her because her family's away and she keeps thinking, 'I'm never going to see them again.' So she has been down and this has really picked up her spirits."

The Christmas cards started to arrive on Monday, the same day the Royal Canadian Navy made the post. On Wednesday, she received 280 cards alone.

McIntyre and Campbell have been decorating her home with the cards.

McIntyre has decorated her home with all the cards she's received. (Submitted by Laura Campbell)

"It's making my house beautiful. They're all beautiful cards," McIntyre said.

McIntyre only has peripheral vision so Campbell has been reading the cards to her.

"I've read every one of them and every one that comes, we taped them up around her house," Campbell said. 

"She just can't believe that people out there can be so loving and caring, and the lovely notes that they're writing inside the cards really, really hit home for her."

McIntyre has received more than 400 cards since Monday. She received 280 alone on Wednesday. Her friend and caretaker, Laura Campbell, has read every single one to McIntyre. (Submitted by Laura Campbell)

Some cards were even accompanied by bouquets of flowers and baked goods.

Campbell said McIntyre hopes others will continue to spread holiday cheer and kindness.

"She hopes that people will also look at other people in their neighbourhoods and say, 'Oh, maybe I should drop them a line or maybe I should drop them off some cookies,' because she's not alone."

With files from Information Morning Halifax

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