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103rd birthday just as special as the first

Laura Gale, 103, enjoyed some birthday cake with her nephew, David, who was visiting from Calgary.
Laura Gale, 103, enjoyed some birthday cake with her nephew, David, who was visiting from Calgary. - Contributed

Laura Gale enjoyed marking the occasion with family, music and cake at Carmelite House in Grand Falls-Windsor

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. — Laura Gale’s 103rd birthday on Thursday, July 12 found her surrounded by family, enjoying cake and a few songs. Her family held the party in the chapel of Carmelite House where she currently resides.

Gale enjoyed herself thoroughly and she even had a special request for the sing-a-long.

“She was very emotional when we sang the songs to her,” Gale’s niece, Monica Kearley said. “We asked her what she would really like to hear and she asked for ‘She’s coming ‘round the mountain’ so we sang that.”

“She used to always sing that song, so really appreciated us singing it,” Kearley said. “Tears came up in her eyes and everything.”

Kearley says her aunt might be the oldest person from the south coast of the province, but she is definitely the oldest from her hometown.

“In Baie d’Espoir, she’s the oldest,” Kearley said. “That’s where she was born and where she lived until she went into the home.”

Gale had many family members visit for her birthday party, including nieces, nephews, grandnephews, and their children from Ottawa, Calgary, Corner Brook, St. Alban’s, Gander, Baie d’ Espoir and Grand Falls-Windsor.

Laura Gale’s 103rd birthday cake.
Laura Gale’s 103rd birthday cake.

“She was happy that everyone could come from away,” Kearley said. “She had a great day.”

Kearley says the family is grateful to Sobey’s in Grand Falls-Windsor for their help with the celebration. The supermarket provided a free cake, and put a complimentary fruit basket as a weight for the foil balloon the family purchased for the party.

Kearley says the family was also thrilled to discover that someone from Golden Years Estate had come by with cake and card to celebrate the big day with her aunt. 

“She lived there for eight years before moving to Carmelite House. They were really attached to her,” Kearley said. “It was nice of them to remember her birthday like that.”

Even though Gale is no longer mobile, she is in stable health and has not had any major illnesses since her birthday last year. Kearley says her aunt, who enjoys socializing, watching TV, and playing bingo, is always in good spirits.

“She has not complained, not one day, she’s happy all the time, and she accepts her way of life,” Kearley said. “The staff say that there’s not one day when she’s cross. She always has a joke and she’s a pleasure to work with.

“She’s always happy — that’s a good thing at 103.”

Related: 

Glovertown's eldest resident celebrates 100th birthday

And to see what we wrote about Gale's last birthday, click here!

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