100th birthday

Amherstburg citizen celebrates 100th birthday

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

An Amherstburg woman celebrated her most iconic birthday yet.

Nellie Durand celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday with friends and family at her home in Amherstburg. The 100-year-old also received a visit from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who presented her with a plaque on behalf of the town to extend birthday wishes.

Following a career in banking, Durand spent 26 years teaching hands-on gardening to students in Grades 3 and 4 until she was 97-years-old. She said she misses gardening, however joked the weather “won’t corporate.”

Durand noted a big help key towards staying healthy enough to live to 100-years-old has been exercising and a good diet.

“Exercise daily and go for walks,” said Durand. “It’s also important to watch your calories and carbs.”

Durand noted her father lived to be 101 years-old and said she will “try to beat him.”

Nellie Durand is presented a plaque by Mayor Aldo DiCarlo Nov 10.

According to family members, Durand is a three-time cancer survivor who moved to California when she was 18. She recently moved two-and-a-half years ago to come back home to Amherstburg.

Durand said family and friends are the second important ingredient for longevity.

“Family and friends are very important,” added Durand. “I have learned by experience that family is very important.

Before moving back to Amherstburg, Durand remembers a time when the town had a population of 6,000 residents.  The population of Amherstburg is now 22,000.

With her return, Durand noted she was finally able to vote in the latest election.

While reflecting on her favourite part about Amherstburg, Mayor DiCarlo offered some advice for an answer.

“The Mayor! The Mayor!,” DiCarlo joked.

 

 

 

Richmond Terrace resident celebrating 100th birthday

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A resident of the Richmond Terrace Long-Term Care Home is celebrating a milestone birthday.

A celebration was held last Monday for Betty Sul on the occasion of her 100th birthday, with her actual birthday being July 18. Sul said she was surprised for the recognition, though called it “absolutely beautiful” and “absolutely perfect.”

“I’m just so happy that I’m going to cry,” said Sul.

Sul’s tears were held back as she smiled and enjoyed her special moment. A musician in the main floor activity room dedicated songs to Sul to commemorate her 100th birthday.

Dianna Lovell, one of Sul’s two daughters, said her mother also has four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Lovell pointed out that Sul came to Canada in 1946 after marrying a Canadian soldier during World War II.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (left) presented a plaque to Betty Sul last Monday afternoon at Richmond Terrace Long-Term Care Home. Sul was recognized for her 100th birthday with her actual birth date being July 18.

“She’s from England,” Lovell explained. “She was one of the war brides.”

Sul came to North America and originally landed in New York before coming to Canada and settling in Windsor. Lovell said her mother dedicated her life to helping others through nursing.

The celebration at Richmond Terrace was something Sul didn’t expect.

“She’s totally surprised,” said Lovell. “This is a wonderful surprise for her.”

Sul was recognized by the Town of Amherstburg, as Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale was on hand to present her with a framed certificate.

“It’s a proud, proud time for everyone,” DiPasquale told Sul. “It’s a big accomplishment.”

Good Shepherd parishioner celebrates 100th birthday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A beloved parishioner at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church celebrated a century of living on the weekend.

After having a party at Seasons Amherstburg last Friday on her actual birth date, Nola Iler celebrated her 100th birthday Sunday with her church family at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Sunday.

Iler was praised by all who attended Sunday’s service and post-service fellowship lunch with certificates presented to her from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General Julie Payette, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Nepean Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and even Queen Elizabeth II.

Recognition from the town of Amherstburg is expected in the coming days.

Originally from Ottawa, Iler came to this area about 75 years ago for schooling and met her husband Allan. When married, she moved down here and lived in the area of Simcoe and Seymour streets on what was then a farm.

The couple had no children and Allan – a.k.a. “Ducky” – died in the early 1990’s after roughly a half-century of marriage. Iler, described as being “very quiet” and a “homebody” still comes to church regularly and the people at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church have become her family.

Nola Iler blows out the candles on her birthday cake as part of a celebration held for her after Sunday
service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Iler turned 100-years-old last Friday and family came to Amherstburg from as far as Ottawa to help her mark her milestone birthday.

That said, she still remembers all of her nieces, nephews and other loved ones.

“Aunt Nola is very generous to all of her relatives,” said nephew Keith Galloway, who was one of the relatives to come down from Ottawa for the 100th birthday celebration. “She always had everyone’s birthday on a list. She remembered and always sent them a card.”

Her church family said her stroganoff, desserts and other treats were always fondly remembered. Even when she could no longer cook, she would still bring something to church every Sunday.

Iler lived at home until she was 98-years-old, when a fall caused her to be in the hospital for a few months and necessitated her moving into Seasons. However, she is still a regular at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

“She is very active in the church and helped with all kinds of things,” said friend Anita Colley.

Local residents celebrate a century of living

 

By Jonathan Martin

In the early morning of April 9, 1917, 150,000 Canadian soldiers poured out of their trenches and shell holes into the snow-swept wasteland surrounding Vimy Ridge.

It was the first wave of what would become Canada’s most celebrated military achievement. It was also the day Herman Glonek was born in Poland, which, at the time, was split between German and Russian control.

The assault lasted four days. By the late afternoon of April 12, the four Canadian divisions making the advance had captured their objectives and pushed German forces back five kilometers. As if in celebration, Jean Farr entered the world in St. Thomas, Ontario that same day.

Ninety-nine years, 364 days later, on April 11, 2017, Glonek and Farr sat at a table together in Amherstburg. Both are living at Seasons Retirement Community. Though their home countries were at war when they were born, today they are friends, and hugged each other in mutual celebration. After all, a century of life is no small feat.

Some of the staff of Seasons Retirement Community surround Jean Farr (front, left) and Herman Glonek (front, right) as they celebrate their birthdays at Seasons in Amherstburg last Tuesday morning.  Glonek turned 100 April 9 and Farr turned 100 April 12.

Some of the staff of Seasons Retirement Community surround Jean Farr (front, left) and Herman Glonek (front, right) as they celebrate their birthdays at Seasons in Amherstburg last Tuesday morning. Glonek turned 100 April 9 and Farr turned 100 April 12. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

“My life was hard,” Glonek said in his sharply-accented English. “I struggled so.”

At 21, he joined the Polish army and soon found himself fighting against two of the era’s most influential military forces: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. The invaders swept across Glonek’s home and swallowed the country whole in just over a month.

Along with millions of other Poles, Glonek was captured and taken to a forced-labour camp. He spent the rest of World War Two starved and struggling on a German farm.

“I have such stories from that time,” he said. “I often tell myself I will write a book.”

Following Poland’s liberation in 1945, Glanek bought his way into Canada.

“I hated the (second world) war,” said Farr. She was living in St. Thomas while Glonek was making his way to Canada. She remembers welcoming some veterans home and noting the stinging absence of others.

“I hope there’s never another one,” she added. “But who’s to know?”

Jean Farr stands behind her 100th birthday cake at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday.  Farr is the third person to celebrate a 100th birthday at Seasons as of April 12.  The first was Marie White, who turned 100 last year.

Jean Farr stands behind her 100th birthday cake at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday. Farr is the third person to celebrate a 100th birthday at Seasons as of April 12. The first was Marie White, who turned 100 last year. (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Farr moved around a little during her century of life, but always stayed in Ontario. She finally found her way into Essex County following the death of her husband, when she moved into Harrow with her niece. From Harrow, she made the jump into retirement living at Seasons.

“I have no words for these people who take care of me,” said Glonek, referring to the Seasons staff. “I give thanks to God that I am here.”

For Glonek, getting to where he is took some doing. The Polish native said he entered Canada with a contract. He would work on a farm near Montréal for one year. After that, he would be on his own. When the contract ended, he moved to Windsor.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (right)  presents Herman Glonek with a framed certificate at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday.  The certificate reads, in part, "Congratulations & Best Wishes on the Occasion of Your 100th Birthday." (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (right)
presents Herman Glonek with a framed certificate at Seasons Retirement Community last Tuesday. The certificate reads, in part, “Congratulations & Best Wishes on the Occasion of Your 100th Birthday.” (RTT Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Decades later, the two centenarians found themselves being handed a piece of cake with a large, blue “100” printed on its top after being addressed by Amherstburg deputy mayor Bart DiPasquale and Amherstburg chief of police Tim Berthiaume.

DiPasquale spoke to both Farr and Glonek individually before presenting each with a certificate declaring that the “Council of the Corporation of the Town of Amherstburg votes to extend Birthday Wishes” to them.

Berthiaume presented each with a commemorative coin, on which the town’s police logo is emblazoned.

“You get one every hundred years,” Berthiaume told them. “I guess you better start clearing space.”

Farr and Glonek laughed, then exchanged a look.

 

For more photos from that day, visit our Facebook album.

Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrates 100th birthday

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a special day for Marie White last Wednesday.

The Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, a few dignitaries and, of course, a big 100th birthday cake. White said she felt fine on her big day but was taken aback by the party thrown in her honour.

“Yes, I should say,” said White, when asked about whether she was surprised.

Even though she was surprised, White was pleased with the party.

“This is lovely,” said White. “I can’t believe how nice it is.”

Lynn Smith, the lifestyles services manager at Seasons Amherstburg, described White as “a simple, easy to please lady” who didn’t want too much of a fuss on her birthday.

“She wanted to keep it nice and easy,” said Smith.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

White celebrated with her family the previous weekend with last Wednesday’s party being on her actual birthday. She said she doesn’t have a secret on how she has lived as long as she has but had one piece of advice: “you just keep going.”

Keeping going is something White does regularly, Smith noted. White is seen regularly with her walker “doing laps” of the halls and keeping as active as she can. White has two daughters and several grandchildren and one of the highlights of her century-long life has simply been to be around her family.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale presented White with a framed certificate from the town of Amherstburg while Chief Tim Berthiaume and Deputy Chief Ian Chappell wishing White well. Berthiaume presented her with a special commemorative coin with the police logo on it.