After 71 descendants, Canada’s oldest man, Esmond Allcock, finally has a namesake.
The interaction between the now 108-year-old and his one-year-old great-great-grandson Esmond, happened last April in Saskatchewan. Allcock’s great-granddaughter, Jenna Lehne (baby Esmond’s mother), says at 20-weeks pregnant, she knew she was going to name her second son after Allcock.
Courtesy of Jenna Lehne
“My late uncle’s middle name was Esmond, and so was my dad’s and cousin’s middle name,” the 30-year-old of Okotoks, Alta, told Global News. “But nobody had it as the first.”
Initially, Lehne says she planned on having Esmond as a middle name as well, but after a conversation with her grandmother (Allcock’s daughter), she knew she had to take a different route.
Lehne was told her great-grandfather was counting all of the children in his family (he was a father to six, had 17 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren), and noted how none of them was named after him.
Lehne’s grandmother had suggested Esmond with Matthew as a middle name (Lehne’s husband) and it just clicked.
“My husband started crying at the kitchen table and said it was the perfect name,” she says. “We just found out it was a boy and that was already his name.”
Recently, Lehne wrote about this story for Love What Matters, and adds while most people’s great-grandfathers are faded childhood memories, she has been lucky to have a relationship with hers for 30 years.
“One of the stories he always used to tell me was from when I was the same age as my own son. While I was learning to walk, I’d make him hold my hands and parade me around the room. All I had to do was crawl up to him and say, ‘Walk walk,’ and away we’d go. When I got a bit older, he would remember me and call me his little buddy,” she wrote for the site.
Last April, when the two Esmonds finally met, Lehne says it was incredibly sweet.
“He instantly held out his arms and held him the entire time,” she continues, adding that in the beginning, Allcock didn’t recognize who she was at first. But after hearing the “walk, walk” story, he knew it was Lehne.
Courtesy of Jenna Lehne
“He kept saying [to Esmond], ‘You don’t know what this means to me,’ and I just wanted to cry,” she says. “He doesn’t know what this means to me.”
Allcock, who resides in Kerrobert, Sask., currently lives in an assisted living home. In January, he got to celebrate his 108th birthday with many of his family members.
The town’s mayor, Wayne Mock, even declared Jan. 26, as Esmond Allcock Day,” WestCentralOnline.com reports.
Lehne with her grandmother, great-grandfather and son, Esmond. Courtesy of Jenna Lehne
Lehne adds Allcock still asks to see photos of baby Esmond and interacts with the rest of his family members through Facetime and Facebook — he’s quite tech savvy. The family is also quite close and one of her cousins, who lives closer to Allcock, frequently visits with her own kids.
“He loves his family so much and he’s always talking about how good-looking his grandkids are,” she says. “He is always asking how his namesake is doing.”
Lehne says the family plans on visiting Allcock this upcoming April.