Bob Weighton will probably never forget his 112th birthday.
Weighton, of Hampshire in southern England, hit the milestone on Sunday, but he didn’t spend it partying with friends and loved ones. Like millions of people, he was in isolation because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, the assisted living facility where Weighton is a resident did arrange to have “Happy Birthday” sung to him from a safe distance while he listened on his balcony.
Weighton was awarded the record after the Feb. 23 death of Chitetsu Watanabe, the previous oldest living male. He was 112 years and 355 days.
Weighton had mixed feelings about the honor.
“I can’t say I was pleased to hear the previous holder had died but I am very pleased that I’ve been able to live so long and make so many friends,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Although Weighton lived through the 1918-20 flu pandemic and two world wars, nothing in his 11-plus decades prepared him for life in the COVID-19 era, he said.
“It is bizarre. I’ve never experienced anything like coronavirus before,” he told the paper. “I’m a bit frustrated but then again I’ve been in situations where you just had to accept what was happening.”
Weighton happily accepted the Guinness plaque, but turned down about a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth.
“I had about 10 and I don’t see why I should require the Queen to keep giving me cards,” he told The Irish Times. “It costs the taxpayer, not her, something, so I have selected one in which she is smiling, looking happy and contented and that’s the one I like and I keep that.”