Brookfield women celebrate milestone birthdays

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By Lyle Carter

In what was likely a first for the small community Brookfield, three of its residents celebrated 90th birthdays in a 15-day span in March.

Phyllis Sutherland

Audrey Carter, Mary Fisher and Phyllis Sutherland all celebrated the milestone mark last month.

"I had my birthday on Friday, March 14," Carter said. "It was very quiet, just a small family affair."

Along with her husband Hugh, Audrey was joined by daughter Eva and son-in-law Gerald Lutes of Moncton.

"We shared a family dinner together and we had birthday cake," Carter said. "A number of people from the community dropped in during the day. A couple politicians came as well."

Born and raised in Old Barns, Audrey, formerly a Yuill, attended the Old Barns School and later Colchester County Academy.

A third baseman in softball, she played for the Truro Printing Slugs 1945 Maritime ladies softball champions. During the 1960s Carter was involved with the Brookfield Elkettes ladies softball teams. In 1980, Carter and her Truro Slugs teammates from 1945, 1946 and 1947 were inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

Hugh and Audrey Carter were married in 1948.

"We settled in Brookfield the same year," Audrey said. "We've been living here ever since.

"There were good people when I was young and now that I'm 90 I still find people very good."

The Carters have two grandchildren.

Marilyn Stewart, Marion Retson and organizers did a great job planning a surprise 90th birthday party for Fisher on March 18.

"Mary thought she was going to lunch with Helen Kendrick," Stewart said. "There were 21 people waiting for her at the Glengarry, she didn't have any idea."

Besides enjoying a fine meal and birthday cake with longtime friends, Fisher's birthday was highlighted by greetings sent from her granddaughter Jenanne Fisher, a school teacher in Hong Kong.

Presented by Retson, in part, the message read.

"First of all, happy birthday from across the pond. You've always been my supporter, my cookie supplier. I thank you, I thank you for continuing to love me 200 per cent. I love you most of all for being one kick-ass nanny. I'm guessing that will wake up the room, eh. Love you lots nanny!"

Mary thoroughly enjoyed the birthday celebration.

"I really thought I was going out for lunch. Helen did a pretty good job fooling me. It was very nice of everyone. It was a really enjoyable time. I really appreciated it. It's made me realize I have a lot of wonderful friends."

Sutherland turned 90 on March 29 and more than 75 people turned up at the senior's room in the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex to extend greetings.

"It was really good to see a lot of people I don't get to see that often," Sutherland said. "People are so good. I've been living in Brookfield 70 years now and things just keep getting better. I had a great day."

Sutherland is grateful for family.

"I have wonderful daughters Beverly and Myrna. Beverly came down from Petrolia, Ontario and Myrna came from Lower Sackville for this celebration. I have great family and they all keep in touch with me. I have six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren."

Reflecting back to her youth, Sutherland, whose maiden name is Fisher, has a fascinating memory.

"I was born in 1924 in Middle Stewiacke and when I started to school in Birch Hill we had to travel two miles to school. While my brothers were still in school we went by horse and wagon or sleigh. But, in later years we walked the two miles. People ask me about big differences I see today. One would be all the good paved roads we have. When I came to Brookfield to live in 1943 a mud road ran through the community."

To mark the special occasion all three outstanding ladies were presented with congratulatory certificates by MLA Larry Harrison. On behalf of the Municipality of the County of Colchester, Coun. Geoff Stewart likewise presented the women with congratulatory certificates.

Lyle Carter's column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.

Organizations: Old Barns School, Colchester County Academy, Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Brookfield, Moncton, Hong Kong Petrolia Ontario Middle Stewiacke Colchester

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