Turning 100 is considered to be a huge accomplishment, but for Mission’s Florence Steele, that feat was achieved more than five years ago.
On June 25, 2021, Steele celebrated her 105th birthday in her suite at her son’s (Al) home.
Steele and her husband first came to Mission, from Prince George, in 1975 and she’s been here ever since.
“‘We were already retired when we came,” Steele explained.
Settling into life in Mission, Steele enjoyed playing crib and other card games, but her real love was for curling.
“I like curling, I just love the game. I started in 1940. When I couldn’t curl any more – it got to cold for me – so I went to bowling. I love bowling, but then the bowling alley burnt down,” she said.
At 105, Steele doesn’t do the activities she used to enjoy, but she still enjoys life.
“I’m still kicking around anyway. I have my good days and my bad days.”
She said she has always been lucky enough to enjoy good health.
Steele said she was in the hospital in 1950 for a “big operation” and after that, never saw the inside of a hospital for another 50 years.
“On my 99th birthday I had a slight heart attack and they took me into Abbotsford for five days. The doctors there couldn’t believe how good I was, and I’m still going.”
Steele doesn’t get around like she used to, having lost most of her sight.
“I can see a little bit, but not to much … the older I get the worse it is. I can’t really do anything.”
She also has trouble walking without support.
“Doctor said I’m getting old. I don’t need to be told that, I know it.”
Her son, Al says Florence still makes her own breakfast and lunch and lives in the family home.
While 105 is a huge accomplishment, Al said they only held a small party for her with a few family members.
“The biggest thing is, she’s outlived all her friends,” said Al.
She also received a special treat courtesy of Rocko’s Diner in Mission.
“They heard about her 105th birthday and donated a free lunch,” said Al
She was also given a Rocko’s T-Shirt.
Of course, whoever talks to Steele eventually asks her for her secret to living a long life.
“Everybody asks me that. I don’t know. All I can tell them is I don’t drink and I don’t smoke and I don’t go out with men. So how do you like that!
“I’ve still got my humour, that’s the main thing. I’m not perfect, but I’m getting there.”