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Oak Bay veteran surges past fundraising goal, spends morning at legislature

John Hillman walks 103 laps, one for each year of his life, in Save the Children fundraiser

As John Hillman’s fundraising page surged past his goal, the Oak Bay man prepared for his Thursday morning appearance at the B.C. legislature.

Surrounded in the gallery by physicians during Family Doctor Day, Hillman was among the guests introduced to the house during the morning sitting on Thursday, May 18.

Calling Hillman a true hero, Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, introduced the veteran of the Second World War with a tribute to the man who served in four wartime campaigns with the Royal Air Force. Hillman came to Canada and settled down with his wife, retiring to Oak Bay in 1988.

An inspiration already, at 100, the man embarked on “the next chapter,” Rankin said, adding if Canadians are looking for a role model, Hillman’s the man.

RELATED: 103-year-old Oak Bay veteran hopes for surge of donations to help children of Ukraine

Hillman raised a total $215,000 doing similar walks in 2020 and 2021 inspired by fellow British veteran, the late Capt. Tom Moore, who raised funds walking laps at his UK residence in 2020. Moore died in February 2021 and Hillman decided to repeat the event.

This year the youth of Ukraine took a particular focus for him, as he continues to support Save the Children. The global organization helps provide families and children with essential food, clean water and health care.

This year, the veteran walked 103 laps, one to match every year of his life, around the courtyard at his Carlton House home over 10 days to raise funds for the Save the Children Foundation. Rankin walked a lap with him on the final day (May 13).

As of his appearance in the legislature May 19, Hillman had raised more than $105,000. The donation page remains live for the rest of the month at

RELATED: Downpour doesn’t dampen Oak Bay veteran’s spirit as 103-year-old walks to Save the Children

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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