Sooke resident Beryl Gough celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends, family and community yesterday.
Gough, who resides at Ayre Manor, is originally from England and came to Canada with her family in 1948, when she was 27 years old.
She grew up with five brothers, one sister, and her mother, who was widowed. Two of her siblings stayed in England, but the rest moved to Canada.
Since living in Canada, Gough worked in health care for many years, before moving to Salt Spring Island. Later, Gough moved to Sidney, and then two years ago, finally moved to Sooke.
“I moved here because of my old age,” chuckled Gough, adding that her best friend Mary Lepage lives here, which is another reason why she came to Sooke.
Though Gough never had children, she has multiple nieces and nephews, 17 of which came to visit her yesterday.
“I didn’t have kids because I was never married, and I never married because I grew up with too many brothers,” laughed Gough.
Her nieces and nephews came from all over to attend the party, including Seattle, Vancouver, and even as far as England.
“It was absolutely wonderful, I did not expect it at all,” said Gough, noting that over 50 people helped her celebrate, including Ayre Manor staff, residents, friends and community members.
“The party was magnificent, I’ve never seen such a party.”
Gough owes her longevity to being happy, singing, and taking life as it comes.
“I didn’t expect to live this long, but I have so many wonderful memories and have met lovely people,” she said. “I just enjoy what I can in life, and put up with what I don’t.”