Go Bold #11: Mr. John Hillman is 103 years old, and is a veteran who continues to serve the community

Speaking with Mr. John Hillman

Members of Royal Canadian Navy join to support Mr. Hillman

At 103 years old, Mr. Hillman is well on his way of completing 103 laps to raise money for charity

This episode is a MUST listen because it is an inspiring!

I speak with Mr. John Charles Hillman, a man who I consider a true hero!

Mr. Hillman was born on 18 March 1919, in Newport Mon South Wales. At 103 years old, he is a veteran of World War II, having served as a Wireless Operator with the Royal Air Force from 1937 to 1949, earning medals of recognition for service in four wartime campaign areas, namely: France 1939/40; North Africa 1942/43; Italy 1943/44; and Burma 1944/46.

In 2020, while the world was wrestling with the impact of COVID-19, Mr. Hillman was inspired by his comrade-in-arms of the UK, Captain Sir Thomas Moore (a fellow Burma Star holder), who was walking the length of his garden until he reached his 100th birthday to raise money for charity.

This inspired Mr. Hillman to follow suit and walk 101 laps around the courtyard of Carlton House, the independent living residence where he resides, to raise $101,000 (CAD) for Save the Children Canada. That target was reached at about 35 laps, but Mr. Hillman continued walking until he completed his goal of 101 laps, and this resulted in a total donation count of $167,000.

Come the following year, having marked his 102nd birthday, Mr. Hillman decided to repeat the appeal and increased his target to 102 laps and setting his donation target at $102,000. Due to the persistence of the pandemic, the prevalence of an oppressive heatwave, and his wife of more than 70 years falling seriously ill and passing away, those challenges caused John to fall short of his target, however $48,000 was still raised bringing an overall total of almost $215,000 to the fund in just over one year.

Now, in 2022, Mr. Hillman has watched the conflict unfold in Ukraine, and has seen the dire situation faced by many families and children. He was pleased to learn that Save the Children Canada had been working in Ukraine and surrounding areas since 2014, and their established infrastructure allowed them to act quickly when the conflict escalated.

Commencing on 2 May, Mr. Hillman began walking 10 laps per day to reach a minimum of 103 laps with a goal of raising $103,000. All funds will support Save the Children’s humanitarian response in conflict zones including Ukraine, protecting children and families at greatest risk.

Mr. Hillman said: “It is my considered opinion to be a very worthy cause as there are many thousands of children affected by this war and they need as much help as we can possibly afford to give them. I therefore humbly pass my appeal for your consideration.”

We encourage all listeners to donate to John’s fundraiser, please visit his official fundraising page:


Thank you Mr. Hillman for your kindness, for your service, and for your inspiration. It was an honor to meet you and to learn about your life of service to country and community. You are a true hero!

Go Bold!