Happy 100th Vicki!
Prince George, B.C.- While Canada is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 150th birthday, Vicki Gutfriend of Prince George is partying on to mark her 100th birthday.
A resident of Laurier Manor, Vicki was born in Saskatchewan during the first World War, and married her husband in 1942 during the second World War.
She says the secret to a long life boils down to healthy living, “No fast food, no junk food, no drinking and no smoking.” That doesn’t mean she hasn’t had lots of fun over the years, “We would get into a horse drawn wagon, someone would have a guitar, and we would travel to the next town to go to a dance.” Although she was never one to drink alcohol, she says there was never a worry about anyone drinking and driving “The horse always knew its way home.”
She met her husband at one of those dances.
She belongs to two seniors groups in Prince George, is a member of the Eastern Star, Women of the Moose, St. Mary’s group, is one of the Red Hat Ladies, and is a line dancer. She has been active “I’m a hyper person, I skied, I bowled, I curled, I can’t sit still.”
She and her husband came to Prince George in the 60’s and worked at the McLeods store on 4th Avenue for about 13 years in the menswear department until that downtown store closed. Her husband, Greg, became a centenarian in 2013, but has since passed away.
She has seen many changes over her 100 years, including the evolution of the telephone ” At first, you had to be on that phone, ring one, ring two, and there were maybe a dozen people on the same line, butting in.”
And of course changes in mail delivery, “My uncle had horses, and they used to go 50 miles one way to get the mail, and come back again the next day. We didn’t have t.v.’s or radios or anything like that. Now ( with email) you feel like you’ve been invaded, they know more about you than you know yourself.” There have been plenty of other changes too “I’ve seen so many things, I could write a book.”
A recent fall that left her with an injured knee has this active 100 year old woman in a wheelchair “But my marbles are good, there’s nothing wrong there.”
Today, other residents at Laurier Manor are helping her celebrate with a party, then there’s another party planned for this Saturday at St. Mary’s Hall “I will be probably so tired by Sunday, I won’t know which end is up” laughs Vicki.
And when it comes time to blow out the candles on her birthday cake, what will her wish be? “For one more year.”