This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

After losing his wife, the 96-year-old moved to the countryside of New Foundland, where they loved.

Welcome to Plate Cove West, a small town in Newfoundland where World War II veteran Charlie Comley created his hometown. why. As Melissa Tobin writes, it's an old love story.

A smiling elderly man stands with a blue house in the background
Charlie Comley stands outside a new home in Plate Cove West, a rural community in Newfoundland. increase. World War II veterinarians moved there from southern Ontario in December 2021. (Melissa Tobin / CBC)

Charlie Comley knows that his story is unusual, and one might think he's lost his senses. 

But Comrie, For a 96-year-old WWII veteran, it all made sense when he sold his home in Clinton, Ontario. I am. Last December, , I moved 3,000 kilometers east to a rural town on Newfoundland.

Comley currently lives in Platecove West, a village of about 800 people, and welcomes him and his best friend Nova Scotia retriever Shiro with open arms. ..

But you may be wondering why old people travel such distances to live along the harsh coasts of the Atlantic coast.

And the answer is simple.


Although Comley was the first year to live in Plate Cove West, he and his wife Anna fell in love with Newfoundland and Labrador during the first of many visits that began in 2000. I did. Comley has been on a state tour for 15 years. 

A framed black-and-white photograph shows a woman in a wedding dress and holding a bouquet
Charlie's wife, Anna Komley, on her wedding day, September 24, 1949. (Melissa Tobin / CBC)

Anna died in 2019 after living for 19 years with dementia. Comley misses her yet. After her 70 years of marriage, being in a place she loved so much helps.

"Now you may understand that I'm approaching Anna. That's true," he said. 

After all, Anna's wish was to force him to make such a bold move. This is a change he has accepted several times in his life. 

Fateful visit

Some of Charlie and Anna's nostalgic memories are Round Dabain owners Chris and Karen Ricketts, 16 beds & Breakfast was on the Plate Cove West arterial road on the west side of the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland. 

They remember well that the couple first visited Plate Cove West in 2015.

"When I first met Charlie and Anna, it was clear that Anna had dementia, but that was something about Charlie's personality, his care," Chris Ricketts said. Says.

A smiling man and woman pose in front of a painting of a rural Newfoundland scene.
Chris and Karen Ricketts own Round Dabayin in Plate Cove West, Newfoundland and Labrador. They have been hosting Charlie and Anna for many years, and Charlie says they will add so many to their community. (Melissa Tobin / CBC)

They came to call them thenotebookcouple after the novel of Nicholas Sparks of the same name. I did.

"She needed to be taken care of. And he is her man and he wants to take her where she needs it and go all over Canada. They are all over Canada. I traveled, " Karen Ricketts said.

The couple first came to Newfoundland in the year of Anna's diagnosis. After that, they came back every year to explore both the island and the Labrador, but made real connections with people every time they came to Plate Cove West.

The last time the couple visited the inn in September 2019, they met a group of singers who had a huge impact on them all. Mary Jane Maloney and her hairdresser quartet, Close Quarters, were visiting at the same time as Anna and Charlie. Chris talked to her about the couple and suggested that they sing some songs.

A man and woman look at the camera while sitting at a restaurant table. A plate of breakfast is before the man.
Charlie Comley and Mary Jane Maloney are sitting at breakfast at Round Dabayin. Her hairdresser quartet, Close Quarters, sang for Charlie and his late wife Anne in this room. (Submitted by Mary Jane Maloney)

"When they finish their lunch, we get up from the table, stand in front of them and sing a few Vera Lynn songs. It was really moving, " Maloney recalls.

'My man. Where are you going today?

Anna's health deteriorated that fall. She was admitted to the hospital and later to a long-term care facility. Charlie and Shiro visited daily, and Charlie helped with food and other needs.

But for weeks she couldn't communicate with anyone, even her husband.

A smiling man walks a dog on a gravel path connected to a red building in the background.
Charlie Komley and his dog Silho walk on the ground in Round Dabayin. (Melissa Tobin / CBC)

Comley said , but he will never forget what happened next.

"Two days before she died, they moved her in a wheelchair in the morning, and she told me,'my man' — She was at that point I didn't know my name. "My man. Where are you going today?" 

"And those were the first words she said to me in three weeks." Where are you going today? " He said.

Listen | Listen to Charlie Comley's full story in a powerful documentary on CBC Radio Weekend AM: Local for love The story of Melissa Tobin of Charlie Comley, who moved to NL

"And I said," We're trying to have breakfast here But where do you want to go? " She said," Newfoundland. " And I said, "We were there for six weeks. Yeah. You want to go back."

"She said, 'But those women are so She sang beautifully. " And that was her last word.

Many chapters of Charlie's life

After living alone when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Comley went to Newfoundland in the fall of 2021. I went back and visited.

Mary Jane Maloney was there that weekend too. She arranged an online phone call to sing again for Comley.

It was this gesture that solidified his decision to move to a rural town in Newfoundland, in addition to other kind acts from the people of Plate Cove West.

So, in his 90's, Comley is starting a new chapter in his life. He is busy helping Chris and Karen's garden, baking pies and helping to turn the hut into a "bunky" for extra sleep.

Change is only part of his life and he has done so many times.

A man works on one of several raised gardening beds.
Charlie is busy with his work most of the day, including the care of the Round Dabain garden. (Submitted by Karen Ricketts)

He grew up in Toronto. At the age of 15, Comley joined and trained the militia, and later he was able to become a member of the Canadian Army. At the age of 19 in 1945, he made a week-long voyage from Halifax to England to serve in World War II. He served as a police officer in the Netherlands after fighting as a soldier in battle.

He returned to North America with the US military. He was supposed to be stationed in Georgia. However, when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, Comley was sent back to Canada.

After retiring from the Army, he started working in a grocery store. He married Anna on September 24, 1949, the same year. The couple has four children, three girls and one boy. They lived in southern Ontario and moved from time to time, including 13 years on the farm.

An elderly man and woman hold hands in a wooden church.
Charlie and Anna in Plate Cove West in 2019, the last place we visited together. (Submitted by Karen Ricketts)

At the age of 59, after working in the grocery business for over 30 years, the company was sold and Comrie was fired.

He was too young to retire, so he found a new career where turned home. He will buy a house, repair it, sell it, then move on, and do it again. Then there were seven homes and two cottages, and after Anna was diagnosed with dementia, he gave up on becoming a full-time caretaker.

Then the couple started traveling. Comrie said that is easier if you don't have to worry about eating while you're on the go.

They had good memories and knew he could trust her in the car, even when she didn't want to go shopping with him. 

"She loved cars," he said. 

Kim Furlong and her new neighbor and friend Charlie Komley. (Submitted by Kim Furlong)

Always thinking about Anna

Now that I'm a widow, Comley isn't thinking about Anna There are no days. But his new friends make it easy.

Along with Chris and Karen, he gets a lot of help from the rest of the community. There is always delivery of freshly baked homemade bread, with the help of snow removal, and even riding St. John's for medical appointments. One of his new friends is Kim Furlong. She works at Round Dabay Inn and lives just off Comley.

Charlie Comley drives Plate Cove West and Silho sits quietly behind. Looking around the geography of the Bonavista Peninsula, you can see that Anna is pleased to be here. (Melissa Tobin / CBC)

She is helping with his housework and refurbishing a small backyard structure .

She wasn't the only one who fell in love with Comley. The whole family, including her teenage boy, loves their new neighbors.

"My sons, they love him, especially older people. [Tyson] loves his story, and Charlie has a lot of stories.

Tyson invited Comley to a high school graduation ceremony.

An older man stands next to a smiling teenager, with prom decorations in the background.
Charlie Comley stands next to Tyson Furlong when he graduates from high school. A teenager loves to hear the story of his new neighbor. (Submitted by Kim Furlong)

Inspired by Anna's last words, Charlie Comley feels lucky to find this place and its people. And even at the age of 96, he said he wasn't going to slow down .

"I think it's important to have something to get up. I really do," he said. 

He wants his family to visit him in Newfoundland soon. Meanwhile, he is busy in the yard, repairing the house, and a loyal child, Shiro , chases his immediate vicinity.

Looking around the geography of the Bonavista Peninsula, you can see that Anna is pleased to be here.

A smiling man wears a T-shirt that reads, Limited Edition 1926 | Aged 96 years
Charlie Comley is a shirt specially made by a new friend of Plate Cove West to celebrate his 96th birthday. I'm wearing a shirt. (Submitted by Karen Ricketts)

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador