Jim Ashworth, a local 101-year-old Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) veteran will be walking 101 blocks in hopes of raising $101,000 for the Columbia Valley Food Bank.
Inspired by John Hillman in Victoria and Tom Moore in England, Ashworth is decided to walk 101 blocks around his home in Invermere for the cause. Ashworth is planning to walk the daily four-block route down and around the local Columbia House Garden in Invermere.
Born on April 13, 1919, in Cranbrook, Ashworth was primarily raised in Invermere before he moved to Cranbrook to finish and graduate high school. Working in Kootenay National Park after graduation, Ashworth eventually went to Calgary to enlist in the RCAF in January 1941.
Ashworth’s flight training concluded that June in Claresholm, Alberta before he was sent off to Britain with the hope of becoming a fighter pilot.
According to Ashworth’s Canada Helps donation page, the military wanted Ashworth to be a flight instructor but he failed the course on numerous occasions. As a result, he became a glider instructor. After some time, Ashworth was sent to an Advanced Flying Unit and trained in Hurricanes before being posted with the RAF’s No. 20 Squadron in Southeast Asia.
“From January of 1943 through June of 1944 he flew over 50 missions in his Hurricane,” said his Canada Helps donation page.
However, Ashworth was forced to return to Canada after he contracted malaria as well as dengue fever.
The 101-year-old war veteran is now planning to walk around Invermere in hopes that people will support his $101,000 donation goal for the Columbia Valley Food Bank.
More: Jim Ashworth’s 101 Blocks for $101,000 (Canada Helps)
More: Elinor Florence’s “My Favorite Veterans” on Jim Ashworth (Elinor Florence)