Barney Schollen and his wife Pat were overcome at the gesture their children and grandchildren made for Barney’s 85th birthday. (Submitted photo)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge man’s family makes his 85th birthday special

Barney Schollen’s kids and grandkids made signs and sang to him on March 28

Family members are having to get creative when it comes to celebrating birthdays these days.

A lot of times the party has to be virtual in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

For the kids and grandkids of Barney Schollen, an internet hello was not going to cut it, so they decided to surprise him with something special.

“We always celebrate everything as a family,” said daughter, Shannon Domitruk.

“We’re a very, very close family, so we were going to do a big family event, but that had to be cancelled.”

She described the family as ‘really affectionate, and huggy’ and added they spend a lot of time together, so everyone wanted to see Barney in person.

Even if it was from far away.

Barney’s three kids and nine grandkids made signs, and gathered a safe distance apart from each other on the lawn of his Maple Ridge house, before singing happy birthday (twice), as well as a ‘He’s a jolly good fellow,’ for good measure.

A renter who lives in Barney’s basement, filmed the gesture for posterity.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows girl surprised by birthday parade

The physical-distancing-friendly gathering happened on March 28, soon after a heavy rainfall.

“We were all standing in puddles,” Domitruk said.

“But it didn’t matter; it was worth it. For my dad, family is the most important thing.

“He adores his children and his grand children. They are his whole life.”

Domitruk said her dad was in complete shock when he saw everyone outside.

“When he came out of the house, he put his fists up in the air and he was pumping them.

“Knowing my parents, this means more to them than anything material.”

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