Opa Tony


Antoni (Tony)  Grenc

The World War I had ended and Poland became independent in 1919.  Five years later, a boy named Antoni (Tony) was born in the Grenc family. It was a handsome boy said the nurses, the neighbors and the relatives of the boy.  Both, father and mother, loved him.  He grew up perhaps somewhat happily serving in the World War II.  Many border conflicts were also settled in Poland by wars and the independence was very fragile when Tony was a young boy.  Finally in 1944, he moved to Canada.

Being new to Canada was a challenge to Tony.  He had to learn English in order to survive, and also needed to earn a living.  After many jobs, Tony found himself in the farm equipment manufacturing company International Harvester.  This was the start of his new settlement.  He got married, and then  he bought a house for the happy family in 1966.    As the time went by, he had grand children and great grand children.  Tony has three daughters who were raised in this house.  Even after Tony was more than 90 years old, he was very active.  He would go to a nearby market, and there he talked to his friends for hours.  He knew everybody in the street where he lived and said hello to those passing by his house.  Friendly fellow, the neighbors loved him and would often stop and talk to him for long periods. One day in 2019, Tony fell down and was taken to a nearby hospital where he died a few weeks later.  Everybody remembered Tony and talked about him even his 6 year old  great granddaughter Eva (not real name).  Curious little girl, one day Eva was sitting and talking to one of the neighbor boy John.  John was 8 years old but he liked  Eva and the two often chatted away.  This day Eva was talking to John about Tony.

Eva and John

John: Eva, why are you so said ?

Eva: I miss my Opa Tony, he loved me  and used to play with me.  He was my great grandfather  but I called him Opa Tony.

John: Do you know where he was born ?

Eva:  My mom said Poland.

John: What year ?

Eva: I don’t know.  He died this year at the age of 95.

John: This year is 2019.  So he was born in the year  1924.

Eva: How did you get that ?

John: You can do it in many different ways.  First, the way I did it. In 5 more years, he would have been 100 years old. That would be in the year 2019 plus 5 or 2024.  So he was born 100 years before that.  That would be 1924.  You can add 1924 and 95 and you will get 2019.

9 5
+ 2 4
1 1 9
+ 1 9 0 0
2 0 1 9

Eva:  I know that  1924 is 1900 plus 24. To that, I have to add grandpa’s age which is 95.  Now, 9 plus 5 is 14.  So 95 plus 24 will become 119, and adding 1900 to that will give me 2019. Here I did it, you were right and your way was faster.  You know, there is one more way to check if you are right.

John: What is that ?

Eva: Mom said that Opa was born 5 years after Poland became independent.

John:  When did Poland become independent ?

Eva:  I don’t know.

John: 19 plus 5 is 24.  So 5 years before 1924 was 1919. So I would say that Poland became independent in 1919.

John went and picked up his smart phone and asked on it when Poland became independent.  The answer was 1919.  So he was right.

John: So, how old was Opa when he came to Canada.

Eva:  He came in the  year 1944.  Being born in 1924, he must have been 44 minus 24 which is 20 years old when he came to Canada.  That is the age of one of my aunts.  She is big.

John: You said he bought the house in 1966. That means after coming to Canada, it took him 22 years to work hard to have enough money for the house.

Eva: Yes, 44 plus 22 is 66.  Since he came to Canada at the age of 20, he was 20 plus 22 years old when he bought the house.

John: Yes, that is 42.  I am not going to wait that long to buy my house.  I am 8  years old now,  I will buy my house before I become 30 years old.

Eva: 8 plus 22 is 30.  That means still it is 22 years before you buy a house.  Let’s go tell your mom that you will buy your house in 22 years.  She will be very happy.  Will you be married by then ?  Let us see, I will be 6 plus 22 that is 28 years old.  I think I will be old enough to move out.  May be we can live in your house together.


What year is it now – like this story was written in the year 2019 ?

How many years have you been in your current school ?

What year did you start going there ?

Let us say that your school opened in 1970.

How old is your school ?

Answer is not given here because we don’t know how long you have been going to your school ?



Narendar Modi was born in 1950. In 2014, he became the Prime Minister of India.

How old was Modi when he became the Prime Minister ?

Answer: 2014 – 1950 = 64 years

How old was Modi in 2021 ?

Answer: 2021 – 1950 = 71 years

For how many years Modi has been the Prime Minister in 2021 ?

Answer: 2021 – 2014 = 7 years

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