Former employee celebrates 100th birthday at Butchart Gardens

Olive Buckingham celebrates her birthday at Central Saanich attraction

Olive Buckingham enjoys tea in the dining room at Butchart Gardens on Thursday afternoon to celebrate her 100th birthday. The former employee

Olive Buckingham enjoys tea in the dining room at Butchart Gardens on Thursday afternoon to celebrate her 100th birthday. The former employee

Olive Buckingham routinely returns to the stately grounds of Butchart Gardens. Sometimes she brings busloads of her friends from Victoria, where she lives at Heritage House in assisted living.

“She likes to come at Christmas because of the lights,” explained TJ Cleroux, hospitality supervisor. And there are many visits in between, what with Buckingham’s love of flowers.

It wasn’t a surprise then that Buckingham chose afternoon tea in the Butchart dining room for her regal 100th birthday celebration last Thursday, May 24.

“These guys just welcomed her,” Cleroux said, speaking on behalf of Buckingham as she celebrated with finger sandwiches and cakes a table away.

Buckingham’s history with the gardens goes back to her working days. She worked in the Seed and Gift Shop for several years just after the Second World War.

“She always says Mr. Ross was her favourite boss in her lifetime,” Cleroux said, referring to Ian Ross.