Margaret Martin, a resident of Armstrong’s Heaton Place, grew up in Richmond, B.C. (Carrie O’Neill)

Family, faith and farming: keys to happy life for Armstrong senior

Back in Eburne, Margaret was six of 12 kids growing up on the farm

A family who prays together stays together, it’s a tradition passed down through the years.

Margaret Ginter, born on July 17, 1929, in Richmond, B.C. to Julius and Lydia Ginter was no exception.

One of 12 children, she was always busy doing something on the family homestead located on the No. 5 Road among a farming community.

The Ginters’ were a hard working family, with mom preparing meals over a wood stove, and the kids and pops tending the dairy cows.

Margaret recalls her mom baking bread nearly every day and notes she can still see the perspiration on her mom’s face while she stood in front of the wood stove preparing potato pancakes for 12 people.

She also remembers her mother walking over two Fraser bridges to the bottom of Marine Drive, hopping on a streetcar and heading to Woodward’s $1.49 Day!

“She always came home with bags of clothes, shoes, and a treat for all us kids” Margaret said.

Following school at Mitchell and Richmond High, she went on to work for Revenue Canada before being led to attend Vancouver Bible College in the fall of 1949.

Her experience throughout the next year would bring her closer to the Lord and stronger in her faith.

Following college, Margaret moved into Vancouver to be closer to her job at St. Regis paper and her church.

Little did she know, she would soon be courting her husband to be, Allen Martin.

Margaret describes him as her best friend, a man of faith, and a farmer at heart.

The two would marry June 24, 1955, and raise three wonderful children: Eldon, Dan, and Sharon.

In 1959, they bought a 50-acre dairy farm in Sardis for $45,000.

It was a bit run down with poor equipment and a poor herd; however, after years of hard work, the farm evolved from stationed milking stalls to a milking parlour and a strong herd of purebred Holsteins.

The kids grew up on the farm, learning all the values and ethics passed down from mom and dad.

They worked hard and played hard; enjoying their own calves and having fun with their horse called Timmy.

The family would eventually sell the farm and move a few more times.

The kids would soon marry and gift Margaret and Allen with grandchildren.

Margaret said her fondest memories are making doughnuts with the grandchildren.

She describes it as if it were yesterday, telling of how they made 60 at a time! Doughnuts were flying around the kitchen and the kids were put on icing duty, eating them as they worked.

With a little chuckle she said, “Eldon would come along and eat six at a time!”

In 1989, they built another home in Ladner and during this time the couple enjoyed travelling. The highlight was an adventure to Israel!

Eventually, they moved to Armstrong to be close to the family; including a total of 22 grandchildren and great grandchildren. Allen went home to be with the Lord on June 23, 2015, hours before their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Shortly afterwards, Margaret moved in to Heaton Place Retirement Community, where she stays busy with puzzles, games, sewing, baking, crafting and hanging out with her friends.

Last year, she sewed 110 dresses to be sent overseas to little girls less fortunate. Margaret is always helping others in some way, which puts a smile on her face every day.

In closing I asked her what would be her wish for her family. She smiled as replied “to love the Lord and live for him daily”!

Thank you for sharing your life journey with us all Margaret!

READ MORE: 98-year-old North Okanagan woman designs clothes for Barbie

Carrie O’Neill is the resident relations co-ordinator at Heaton Place in Armstrong. These are the stories of its residents.

READ MORE: Armstrong retirement community place to thrive

READ MORE: Armstrong seniors home hires own doctor


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