Surrounded by 5 generations of family, from siblings to great-great grandchildren, Cécile Sylvestre celebrated her 100th birthday at Manoir du Lac in McLennan on Saturday November 6.
Seated at the table decorated with birthday greetings, behind a cake boldly inscribed with the number 100th, the guest of honour looked strong for her years and was evidently happy in the company of her large attentive family.
Cécile Sylvestre, whose maiden name is Boivin, travelled to the Peace Region from Lac St. Jean, Quebec around 1927, when her parents came west to homestead in Eaglesham. One of seventeen children, Cécile met her husband Donat in 1935; they married in 1937 and built a home in Tangent where they farmed and raised their children.
She lived in Tangent until she became unwell and moved to Falher as a resident at Villa Beausejour where she remained while she was still relatively independent. When unable to look after herself and needing care she moved to Manoir du Lac.
Of course, longevity is in the family. Cécile’s mother was born in 1897 and died in 2000 at the age of 104 having lived in three centuries.
Cécile’s granddaughter Lynne gave a brief speech, talking about the things most important to Cécile, beginning with family and her religious faith. Lynne also spoke about Cécile’s creativity in sewing, cooking and macramé and of Cécile love of singing and music, how she liked fishing, blueberry picking and camping, always surrounded by her family.
At the time of his passing in 1992, Donat and Cécile had been married for 51 years. Cécile has 12 children, 37 grandchildren, 63 great grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren.