CORNWALL, Ontario – Two World Wars, 102 years, and now two pandemics, but Elsie Kyer is still going strong.
On July 22 Kyer and family and friends celebrated her birthday in front of her home. When Kyer turned 100, she had a big party at the Cornwall Legion, where she is a long time member, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that kind of event was not possible this year.
The Cornwall Legion still wanted to celebrate Kyer’s special day however, and organized a drive-by past her house on Wednesday afternoon, honking horns before gathering around her drive way to present her with a big birthday card, some balloons and singing her “Happy Birthday”.
“I’m 102 and I’ve got to take it,” said Kyer when asked how she felt about her birthday. “I’d like to party, but I can’t.”
Kyer said that the secret to a long life was drinking beer and staying active. She is well known at the Cornwall Legion for coming by regularly to play darts.
Kyer was born in Longueuil, QC, in 1918 and moved to Cornwall in 1945.
She remembers being one of the first houses in the Riverdale subdivision, which was then mostly empty lots and dirt roads.
For many years, she remembers having milk, eggs, butter and ice delivered to her home, which was built in Riverdale by her husband and father-in-law in about 1948.
Members of Kyer’s family was with her on Wednesday to help celebrate her birthday. Kyer has five children, 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.