Eleanore Carroll celebrated her 100th birthday in style Saturday (March 2) with dozens of guests, a harpist and a live band.
Carroll turned 100 the day before on March 1, but her family planned a big celebration for her at her home at Elim Village in Fleetwood.
Roughly 80 people came out to Eleanore’s birthday, said her husband Ed, with guests coming from Humboldt, Vancouver Island, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Grand Forks and Calgary.
Eleanore said she knew she was being thrown a birthday party, but she didn’t know how many people would be in attendance.
“A lot of these people I haven’t seen in ages.”
Eleanore was born in Ottawa, where she lived for a time before moving just north of Hull, Que., Ed said.
When Eleanore was 10 years old, he said, she and her family moved to B.C.. Ed said her father was in the military and was given land in the Hazelmere valley. He said she grew up where Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club now is.
“Eleanore grew up in this hundred acres in the Hazelmere valley,” said Ed, adding that she went to Halls Prairie Elementary and Cloverdale High School.
Asked what it’s like to see the community grow and change in the 90 years since moving to Surrey, Eleanore said, “You really can’t say because when you’re looking, it just seems like it changes inch by inch.”
Ed said he and Eleanore spent most of their time living in Cloverdale, buying a house on 173B Street in 1962. He said Eleanore moved into Elim Village about two or three years ago, and he followed her.
The two met in 1952, Ed said. Eleanore was a single mom of two children – Carol and Michael.
Eleanore and Ed met through mutual friends who were dating and invited them to tag along to a show one day, he said. Ed said he ran into Eleanore a second time while out with his friend, and they hung out once more.
“We hit it off fairly well, and then after a while, we started dating,” he said. “We just chummed around and I just fell in love.”
The couple had two more children of their own, Kevin and Christopher.
It was just last month the two celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
Over the years, the couple has travelled a fair bit to places such as Morocco, Hong Kong, Bali, Bangkok and Ireland, while also travelling to California twice a year for some sunny weather, Ed said.
Eleanore said she couldn’t pick a favourite holiday.
“They were all special in their own way.”
For her 100th birthday, Eleanore received special greetings from the Queen, the Governor General Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, her son Kevin said.