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Coldstream woman celebrates 100th birthday with 5 generations of family

Lily Edwards said her birthday party was ‘the best time of my life’
Edwards was surrounded by five generations of family at her birthday party. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Lily Edwards had five generations of family with her at her 100th birthday party on April 13, as she couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to celebrate the impressive milestone.

“I love the family and we’re having a roaring time,” the Coldstream woman said. “It’s the best time of my life.”

Asked about some of her fondest memories over the past 100 years, Edwards chose to bask in the present moment.

“I think enjoying my family right now,” she said with one of her children, Paul Edwards, at her side as she sat in a pink chair beneath a balloon-frilled banner.

Edwards is sharp as a whip at her advanced age, and says she’s in good health overall. She attributes this to her diet over the years. Growing up in the small town of Stonewall, just outside of Winnipeg, she would forage for wild nuts.

“I didn’t want to eat the regular dinner my dad and mom would make,” she laughed. “And so it was all vegetables and nuts and fruit.”

She’s since taken to eating two eggs each morning, on the advice of Paul, and the two of them agree that’s helped keep her strong.

Edwards married her husband, Jack, when they were 20 years old and living in Trail. They moved to Vancouver in the late 1940s, and Edwards loved Vancouver for a number of reasons.

“I loved the rain,” she said. “And I loved raising my kids there because it’s a nice city to raise children.”

Edwards and her husband had five children, and it was to be nearer to her oldest, Marjorie Close, that the two decided to move to Coldstream to retire 30 years ago.

Edwards is remarkably independent, still living on her own in Coldstream in a house that is filled with fond reminders of husband Jack, who passed away about seven years ago.

“It’s Jack everywhere in the house, because he was a handyman in every way,” Edwards said.

“He was the best husband you could ever have. And my Jack, he loved children.”

One of those much-loved children, Howard Edwards, said it was “terrific” to see so many family members at the birthday party at Vernon’s Peace Lutheran Church.

“I’m very happy my mom is here to bring everybody together,” he said.

Edwards’ sister, Donna Gervais, 87, was also at the party, and the two sisters delighted in celebrating the eldest’s milestone.

Another of Edwards’ sons, John Edwards, said his mother hasn’t let the passage of time change her; her personality has stayed consistent throughout the years, from his earliest memories of her when he was five years old, to her 100th birthday party.

“She hasn’t changed at all, just aged and that’s it.”

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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