SUMMERFORD - There was no shortage of birthday wishes as Gertrude Stockley celebrated her 100th birthday.
© Pam Snow
Mrs. Stockley’s daughter Joan Boyd helped her cut one of the many birthday cakes at the birthday get together held at Bayside Manor.
Born on Feb. 20, 1912, as Gertrude Elliott, Mrs. Stockley is thought to be the first person from what was Farmer's Arm and is now Summerford to celebrate the milestone birthday.
Her birthday celebration included an open house for friends and family to share their birthday wishes. A crowded Summerford Community Centre was one indicator of how Mrs. Stockley has been a part of the lives of so many people over the years.
There was even a group of students from New World Island Academy who visited the celebration. According to Mrs. Stockley's grandson Rod Stockley, the children were interested to meet someone who was turning 100.
Following the open house family members continued the celebration with a dinner, followed by a dance. It was a reunion of sorts where some family who hadn't seen each other in a while were able to reconnect. Another birthday celebration was also held at Bayside Manor in Brown's Arm where Mrs. Stockley currently resides.
The Pilot spoke with Rod Stockley and his father Roy Stockley and their grandmother and mother (respectively), reflecting on a life that so far has spanned a century. She is the second youngest of nine children, the only one living.
As her birth certificate indicates, Mrs. Stockley was born in Farmer's Arm. Roy said she went to school, but to get there she had to row across the harbour on the south side to the schoolhouse on the north side. It was when she was around nine-years-old that she went to Exploit's Island to help her sister raise her family.
"In between she would get some schooling," he said. "It was pretty difficult, but she did manage.
"She was an avid reader. She has read all her life and still enjoys reading now."