Prince Rupert's Cathie Strand celebrated her 100th birthday over the weekend.

Prince Rupert woman celebrates 100th birthday

Prince Rupert's Cathie Strand, who turned 100 years old on Oct. 4, said the trick to her longevity is to stay busy.

  • Oct. 9, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Work hard and stay healthy.

Cathie Strand, who turned 100 years old on Oct. 4, said the trick to her longevity is to stay busy.

“I didn’t have much time on my hands,” she recalls.

Cathie was born in Victoria in 1912 and brought to her family’s home in Queen Charlotte City by a United Church mission boat the Thomas Crosby.

Growing up, Cathie had five sisters and two brothers and attended school on the islands.

When she turned 19, Cathie moved to Prince Rupert and began work as a maid.

Cathie said she did a lot of walking when she first moved to Prince Rupert because she didn’t have a car, and would have to walk to work daily.

After working as a maid in a number of homes, Cathie received a job at the hospital as a scullery maid in 1932. She then began work as a cook at the hospital, which she kept for five years.

While in Prince Rupert, Cathie met Carl, a fishermen she was introduced to by friends. The two ended up getting married in 1938, and two years later they became the proud parents of Robert. Four years later, they became parents again with their second child James.

Robert said his mother lived a “busy life and did an awful lot of cooking in this town.”

“She ran her own catering business, worked in restaurants, and cooked for a lot of different parties,” he said.

Although Carl was away fishing quite often, and Cathie was busy with her job, the family did spend time together on trips.

“I remember sleigh riding from the Presbyterian Church down to Cow Bay. That was part of our entertainment,” Cathie remembered.

“We would go to Terrace for trips, go across the habour to Salt Lakes in the summer,” her son Robert said.

Cathie also was a hardworking volunteer, spending 25 years as a member of the hospital auxiliary in Prince Rupert.

At 65, Cathie retired and moved to Campbell River, where she remained for 25 years. During that time she volunteered frequently, including volunteering at the hospital auxiliary in Campbell River for another 25 years and was recognized for her community service at the community’s municipal awards.

Cathie said she wasn’t ever very adventurous in her life, but she did do some travelling in Europe after she and her husband retired.

When Carl passed in the mid-‘90s, Cathie moved back to Prince Rupert to be closer to her family.

Cathie now spends her time socializing with families and friends at her home in Acropolis Manor, and enjoys playing cribbage. Cathie was taught the game by her father when she was nine, and 90 years later she picked up her first 29-hand ­— the cribbage equivalent of golf’s rare hole-in-one.

To celebrate the century mark, Cathie has already attended two parties thrown in her honour, the first at Acropolis Manor on her birthday last Thursday, and the second at the Seniors Centre on Saturday.

She has also had more private celebrations with her family, and has even received a bouquet of flowers from her nephew who lives in Japan.

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