Surrounded by family and friends, an Italian immigrant who came to Canada and settled in East Vancouver 63 years ago is celebrating his 100th birthday this weekend.

Each day between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., Giuseppe "Joe" Silveri, pulls a shot of espresso for himself and one for his neighbour before spiking them with brandy, grappa or whatever’s on hand.

"I have no choice. It always includes something special in there. I can say, 'No,' but it still goes in,” said 43-year-old Eric Hinchalot who lives across the lane from Silveri.

Born March 8th, 1919, in Ofena, in central Italy, Silveri grew up with four brothers and two sisters.

He started working in local farms at the age of 10 and served in the military during the Second World War.

Times were tough in the post-war years, and Silveri decided to immigrate to Canada in 1957 to make a better life for his family.

“I come just myself here. And after three years, they come my family,” said Silveri with a thick accent.

Silveri was finally joined by his wife Concetta, son Ernesto and daughter Anna-Maria.

Over the years, the family continued to grow, and Silveri now has four grandsons and seven great-grandchildren.

Eight years ago, after more than six decades of marriage, Concetta passed away at age 90.

The day after his birthday, Silveri spoke fondly of his departed wife as he gazed upon a photo of the large family they started together.

Retired for 35 years now, Silveri has a lot of hobbies to keep himself busy.

“What he always says is keep active, work in the garden all the time, and eat well,” said his son Ernesto. “That’s it.”

After getting a new video camera, Hinchalot made some videos of Silveri gardening and fishing. 

"He was my model to help me learn how to use the camera,” said Hinchalot. “And he always encourages me to keep working with the camera."

Looking at the grainy black and white photos from his youth, and the high-definition videos shot by his neighbour, it quickly becomes clear he’s always carried the same zest for life.

“Good, very good!” he responded when asked how it feels to be 100 years old.