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EDITORIAL: Oldest woman in province inspiring

Frances Peddle pays little mind to being the oldest person in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, but being in her presence is kind of inspiring.

Peddle turns 109 years of age today, and is amazingly in great physical health despite her short-term memory failing a little.

She also has the notoriety of being the fourth-oldest person in Canada. There are three sets of sixth-generation children in her family, so there are a lot of limbs on this lady’s family tree.

Her family members extend far and wide, and each year many of them come to visit her on the actual day of her birthday. There’s always a large smile across her face at just the thought of them coming to see her.

Peddle spends many days sitting in front of a picture window, looking at vehicles and people passing by from her daughter and son-in-law’s home on Brook Street in Stephenville Crossing where she lives.

But that’s not all of her life — she’s still able to get out and make shopping trips to Stephenville, even visit her eldest son Frank at Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook and dropping by for a snack at McDonald’s.

Peddle has done a lot of living in her century plus years and has toiled hard in different jobs, while raising a large number of children.

She started her life as Frances Peddle in Greens Harbour, Trinity Bay, and at the young age of 15 went to work as a housekeeper in St. John’s. She then went to Montreal, eventually making her way to Corner Brook.

It was there she got married and started raising her family while still working, eventually moving in with her daughter and son-in-law.

Even at her current age, she has a beautiful disposition, singing away at times and still joking about certain things. Sometimes she reflects back to her younger years and talks fondly about both her mother and father.

In addition to working and raising a family, Peddle was also a dedicated volunteer, offering her time to work as a Legionnaire and with the Fishermen’s Lodge, the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association and the Anglican Church Women’s Group, of which she is a lifetime member.

She has contributed greatly to society and her family over the years and is deserving of any recognition that should go with being the oldest person in the province — even if that happens to be a few young people asking to have their photo taken with her, which has happened in the past.

Several years back, there were some 11,000 Facebook birthday greetings to this fascinating lady, and last year there were more than 7,000. It will be interesting to see how many will be received this year.

Congratulations Mrs. Peddle on reaching this milestone, and all the best for a great birthday today.

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