Another birthday has come and gone for Eva Robicheau, the Yarmouth resident who turned 108 Feb. 12 and who is said to be the second oldest person in Nova Scotia and the 22nd oldest in Canada.
How old is 108? Consider that Eva is almost a decade into her second century.
Eva was an infant when the Titanic sank.
She was a toddler when Babe Ruth made his major league debut.
She remembers attending a parade in Yarmouth during the First World War.
There have been 18 different Canadian prime ministers since Eva came into the world. (Pierre Trudeau – the late father of our current PM – was eight-and-a-half years from being born when Eva came along.)
There were 7.2 million people in Canada the year Eva was born. The current population is about 37 million.
A few days before turning 108, she was asked to reflect a bit on her youth. She recalled her family not having a great deal, her mother making a lot of oatmeal.
“That was what we ate, oatmeal,” she said.
She remembered getting a job at the cotton mill as a teenager.
“I left there to get married,” she said.
She eventually returned to the workplace, this time at the hospital, where she worked for almost 25 years. She also returned to the classroom as part of her career at the hospital as a supervisor in the dietician/food department.
“She graduated from a food administration course at about age 55,” said Katherine Wight, one of Eva’s three children.
Katherine said her daughter, Susan Conrad, who also went back to school in her fifties, cited Eva as her inspiration.
In terms of longevity, Eva is said to be the second oldest living Nova Scotian.
“The other person is 108 as well but only exceeds her by a few weeks or something,” Katherine said, “and she is the 22nd oldest in Canada, but I guess there are 10 that are 108.”
Katherine and her brothers – Richard Robicheau and George Robicheau – were able to get together in Yarmouth with their mother and some other family members to help Eva mark her 108th birthday.
Katherine lives in Dartmouth, Richard in Yarmouth and George in Sackville. They’re all in their eighties.
Eva lives at the Meadows in Yarmouth and says she’s glad to be at the long-term care facility.
“It’s good here,” she said.
Katherine says the staff are kind to her mother. Interviewed the day after Eva’s latest birthday, Katherine laughed, saying Eva “feels like a celebrity this week.”
Eva too, her daughter says, has a good sense of humour. This was evident when the Tri-County Vanguard visited her a few days before she turned 108.
When she was told that the same reporter had met her three years before, when she had turned 105, Eva smiled and said, “Oh my, did I live that long?”
PAST BIRTHDAYS WITH EVA: