Olive Moore’s family descended on the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre to celebrate her centennial birthday Jan. 7. In the kitchen of the Goal Unit, 100 year birthday decorations lined the walls while two cakes were ready for family.
It was a true celebration, explained Olive’s son Ron.
“She was born Jan. 7, 1919, 100 years ago,” he stated proudly.
The population of Ponoka at that time was about 650 people and Edmonton was about 66,000.
“She came to Ponoka with her RN in 1940 at the age of 21,” said Ron.
Olive received her psychiatric nursing degree later on and eventually married her husband Ellis in 1943. They moved into their Ponoka home, which she stayed at all those years. She worked as the RN at then Ponoka Associate Medical Clinic.
“Up until seven weeks ago she was looking after her home and a half-acre yard,” Ron explained.
Indeed, Olive has been taking care of errands and everything else that was needed at her home, with a little bit of help here and there, explained Ron.
The 100th birthday is a big deal. Back in the early days of Olive’s life there were no paved roads, there was no running water.
Ron asked his mother what she attributes her century of life to. She replied in a written response with two things: “Number 1, my grandparents lived until their ’80s and ’90s. We thought very little about age.”
“My secret, I have kept busy and trust in the Lord,” she added.
Olive received letters of congratulations from the Queen herself, the premier, MP Blaine Calkins, as well as from the Governor General and Lieutenant Governor, plus from the leaders of the opposition parties Andrew Scheer and Jason Kenney. On top of that she received many cards and flowers.
Folks were quite excited to read the letter from the Queen with even the nurses taking a quick look when they had a moment. All the letters are placed in a binder for Olive’s easy access.
Olive also keeps in close contact with those around her through email. She had two kids, one who is now deceased, four grand kids and one great grand daughter.
All of this is possible with a strong support network.
“People say it takes a community to raise a child,” said Ron. “It takes a community to keep a senior citizen in her own home for almost 100 years.”
He added that it also takes friends and family to make it happen.
“The lines have blurred because the agencies are like friends and the friends are like family,” he concluded.