Brockville woman celebrates century mark, surprises family with 99-year-old memento
BROCKVILLE -- A Brockville woman celebrated a milestone birthday, with help from neighbours and former co-workers.
A parade of decorated cars drove by Lois Lombard's house Thursday to wish her a happy 100th birthday, something Lombard says was pretty neat.
"Well, I worked with friends at the hospital and they have been friends all these years, since I retired, so I think that’s beautiful because they are all younger than I am," said Lombard waving to the vehicles from her sunny front porch.
Lombard retired from her job as a registered nursing assistant at the Brockville General Hospital (BGH) in 1986. She is described as an all-around great person.
"A wonderful person, amazing, active...Amazing," said former co-workers Marilyn Metcalfe and Mary Clarke. "She’d do anything for anybody and she’s always joining in, ready to go."
Lombard's son John says she's pretty well connected for her age.
"She’s got the tablets, she’s got the Facebook page, she’s up to date with all the current activities. She’s definitely connected," said John Johnston.
"I Facetime my kids. I play scrabble with my daughter in New Brunswick every evening," said Lois Lombard. "Those tablets are really handy."
The mother of four children still lives in her own home, preparing meals twice a week. She receives help four times a week from a caretaker.
Lombard admitted this birthday celebration was a bit different, however.
"It is different but we have to live through it and we will. It’ll be fine later," Lombard said, adding positivity is key. "You have to think positive and be very thankful every day for what you have and your health."
Lombard was an avid golfer and enjoyed the outdoors. She was also in the Canadian Woman's Army Corps. in World War 2.
She was born and raised in New Brunswick, moving to Ontario in the late 60s after landing her nursing job at Brockville General Hospital.
A century of history she loves to talk about, born just after another major epidemic in 1918.
"And here she is, 100 years old getting caught up with COVID," said her son John. "I guess you’re never too old to experience what happens in the world that way."
"With somebody that lives to 100 years old, a mother or anybody, it's quite an achievement, and she could probably sit down with anyone at any time and talk about history back to the 20s and bring it all the way up through, to have people understand how it used to be back in the day," added John.
"Her father actually delivered mail with a sleigh and horses this time of year."
On Thursday, Lombard surprised her sons with a memento from 99 years ago - a piece of history neither of the men knew existed.
"This is a birthday card that my mother received when she was one year of age...So it’s 99 years old," said her youngest son Terry. "She’s had this card all this time and believe it or not they were sent through the mail, like a post card back then. It actually has a two-cent stamp on it. The date is Feb. 10, 1922."
Her oldest son Allen and daughter Barbara reside in New Brunswick, but Lombard said "They'll party this summer" hopefully.
She says she's healthy and feels great, and doesn't have a secret for hitting the century mark.
"I don’t have any secrets. It’s just good living," she said. "My fabulous family, my good friends and my neighbours, they are all helping me to survive."
"She’s probably quite young as far as her health and mental being is," added John. "She's not active too much physically but you know mentally, she’s very in touch with the technology these days with Facebook and the emails and typing and all that stuff. She's right on top of it."
Reminiscing throughout the years, Lombard noted she's been able to drive a Model T Ford and a new Mustang Convertible, which she bought in 2005, but doesn't drive anymore.
When asked which vehicle was more comfortable, she showed off her quick sense of humour.
"Well you know the old Model T wasn’t too bad."