More than 100 friends and family members joined Rose Carter on May 18 as the former Pleasant Valley woman celebrated her 100th birthday. Rose Carter, front, is shown here with her brother Gerald Morrisey. Family and friends offer well wishes, including, second row, from left, Jillian MacDonald, Muriel Smith, Elva Archibald and Debbie Fuchs. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex in Brookfield has hosted many exciting events over the years.
However, a recent event might have taken the cake. The birthday cake that is.
Rose Carter celebrated her 100th birthday Sunday, May 18 and the milestone event attracted more then 100 family members and friends.
“I enjoyed the celebration very, very much,” Carter said. “It was so exciting. I really appreciated everyone coming. After seeing so many friends and relatives I couldn’t sleep that night.”
Carter compared her centenarian celebration to previous birthdays.
“It was really no different turning 100,” she said. “I’ll tell you, I still feel I’m young. I’m really fortunate to have my health. A lot of people told me they couldn’t believe that I’m 100 years old. Different people said I don’t really look 100 but I am.”
Debbie Fuchs, a granddaughter, flew in from Ontario for the event with her husband Henry.
“Getting down for Nana’s birthday is awesome,” said Fuchs, who grew up in Pleasant Valley and has been away 37 years. “We started teasing Nana last year so we’ve been planning for a whole year being here for this special 100th birthday celebration. It’s really great to see such a large turnout of relatives and friends.”
Carter’s maiden name was Morrisey and she was born in Florence, Cape Breton, one of 16 children. The only two other living siblings were both present for her big day, her brother Gerald Morrisey, from Oramocto, N.B., and sister Elva Archibald, of Truro.
“It’s slightly more then a three-hour drive from Oramocto,” said Morrisey, 83, who spent 27 years in the Canadian military. “I’m glad I could make the trip down. I thought it was a wonderful birthday celebration. I enjoyed seeing a lot of people I hadn’t seen for a long time. Rose was as happy as a lark. She had a great time and her mind is still amazingly sharp. Rose was really up for the occasion.”
Archibald, very strong on dates, figures and family history, shared a few family details.
“Rose was in the middle of the 16 children,” said Archibald. “I was the youngest girl. I’m one of the young one’s. I’m 89. To have more the 100 people sign the guest book is quite a thing. For Rose to turn 100 and remember things like she does is really something.
“Rose pretended she didn’t want any big birthday celebration but I know she actually enjoyed the day an awful lot. Rose is a survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. She was three years old at the time and still remembers things that happened that day.”
Muriel Smith, a niece, is the daughter of Rose’s sister Florence who married Burton Carter.
“I’ve always felt it was an honour to be part of the Morrisey family,” said Smith, of Brookfield. “They are such lovely people, all the Morrisey’s. They have such a loving, outreaching way. Descendants of both the Carter’s and the Morrisey’s came from all over to help Rosie celebrate. It was a wonderful birthday party.”
Rose and Tommy Carter were married in 1936 and lived most of their married life in Pleasant Valley. The couple raised two children, a daughter Marion and a son Wayne.
Tommy passed away in 1989 and Wayne passed away in 2008. Marion (Carter) Bethea lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Reflecting on earlier days Carter also shared some stories about her life.
“I clearly recall the day the Halifax Explosion happened,” she said. “A man who had been shining shoes on the street was knocked to the ground. I asked my sister Irene ‘is he dead.’ I also remember being taken to a tent on Citadel Hill. The next morning we left for Belmont by train. We lived in different parts of Colchester County the next few years.”
Carter described married life and living in Pleasant Valley as “good years.”
“There was lots of music. Tom played the guitar, his father Allan played the fiddle and his sister Myrtle played the piano,” she said. “There was lots of singing and dancing.”
A former active bowler, Carter received a number of awards as a member of the Brookfield Elks Bowling League for 30 years.
She now lives in Wynn Park Villa in Truro.
“It’s a wonderful place to live,” the 100-year-old woman said. “I have lots of good friends.”
Lyle Carter’s column appears every second Tuesday in the Truro Daily News.
If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.