Thursday, March 15th, 2012 - Mrs. Flora Thibodeau: Further Congratulations on One Hundred and Eleventh Birthday
Mrs. Flora Thibodeau
Further Congratulations on One Hundred and Eleventh Birthday
Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, I would like to say that I appreciate the opportunity to continue speaking and making the comments on the life of Madame Flora Thibodeau that I began with yesterday.
We all know that raising seven children on your own is not an easy job. Madame Thibodeau was very successful as a mother and a career woman. Six of her seven children finished Grade 12, while one of her children had health problems. Back then, they went to school until the end of Grade 8 in Rogersville. From there, her children had to move and go to Tracadie to finish their Grade 12.
I asked Madame Thibodeau what her secret was to having a long, healthy life, since after all, she is the oldest Canadian born, still living in Canada. She shared with me that she had no secrets. She has always eaten what she wanted and stayed active. She even went out last year on her one hundred and tenth birthday to eat at a local restaurant. She has been a very independent person all of her life, and she tells me that since her one hundredth birthday, the hardest thing she has to do is sometimes ask for help.
She loves company and over the past year she has had visits from many MLAs, MPs, senators, a few different premiers, media and many family members and friends.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to mention to you, honourable senators, that two of Madame Thibodeau's grandchildren — Madame Gisele Thibodeau and Madame Monique Thibodeau Laflamme — were in the gallery yesterday. I would like to share with you some of the thoughts they provided to me. I quote:
Celebrating any birthday is a wonderful milestone, but being able to celebrate your 111th is nothing short of an amazing miracle. Her sharp memory keeps alive stories of a time that are now only found in history books, but come magically alive when she vividly recites the first time a car came through her town, teaching children in a one-room classroom over 90 years ago, eating her first banana in her late thirties. My favourite story is of the night my father was born at home, almost 80 years ago, snow falling and the bells from the horses' reins ringing outside her bedroom window, while their owners were celebrating Christmas midnight mass at the church beside the house.
Her abundance of knowledge, sharp wit, dry sense of humour and zest for life allows her to still be a contributing member of her community, with young and old alike. Even though the distance is great between us, she is held near and dear to our hearts. It is an honour to call her our grandmother and we cherish the time we've been given with her.
Honourable senators, I ask that you please join me in wishing Madame Thibodeau all the best on her one hundred and eleventh birthday, and I sincerely hope I have the opportunity again next year to share an update on her one hundred and twelfth birthday.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear.