100th Birthday of Veronica Turner
Marie Turner DW*
On the occasion of the grand celebration for Mum’s 100th birthday many wishes were sent to her. We warmly thank all of you !
It truly was a wonderful event that she and all of us enjoyed immensely. Our heartfelt thanks to God to be able to celebrate her life and the life she has been and continues to be for others.
The celebration began with the visit of some Daughters of Wisdom from Montreal and Ottawa. The following week, the staff of St. Joseph’s Nursing Home where Mum lives had a surprise party for her with the staff and residents and the local MP came in to present her with the first of many plaques.
The day before her birthday, after she had gone to bed, we decorated her door and on the corridor wall opposite put up photos of Mum over the 100 years. This was a surprise for her on the morning of the 5th July.
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The retired Bishop, chaplain of St. Joseph’s, was returning from Poland on the 5th so we had the special Mass celebrated by him the following day. I joined Mum for the Mass on the 5th when the visiting priest said the beautiful blessing over her from the book of Numbers. That day we had lunch for seven (7) of us, in a special room at St. Joseph’s. Cards and gifts were then opened (beautiful flowers and an abundance of chocolate being very dominant!). We also gave her the letter from the Queen, Governor General of Canada and the Prime Minister. Lunch was pizza, cake and champagne (thanks to the Daughters of Wisdom of Canada!).
The 6th July we had a special Mass organized by the family with Mum, with the reading of the valiant woman from Proverbs, and the parable of the Good Samaritan, her favorite gospel. Followed thanksgiving prayers combined with the offertory procession with symbols of her life. It concluded with a special blessing for a family gathering by the Bishop and the presentation of a beautiful rose by him.
In the afternoon we had hired a room in the nearby senior centre for family and friends to drop in for the party. More cards, flowers and chocolates in abundance! My 3 years old niece discovered the fire alarm and tried it out ! Within 5 minutes the fire engine and three husky firemen were on the spot, relieved there was no fire and rewarding the culprit with a tour of their fire truck!
The day concluded for 25 family members with a barbecue back at my sister’s place. It was the first family gathering since the death of my sister in law last January. So that day’s event mingled with sadness…
Mum went back to St. Joseph’s to ponder on the excitement of the day. My niece and family came from Nova Scotia, 2 cousins from England, one friend from St. Kitts in the West Indies and others were from Ontario …
The tributes that poured in for Mum were very uplifting – she is greatly loved by family, friends, staff and residents of St. Joseph’s. We are so lucky that she contributed fully with her sparkle, humor and gratitude. SHE REALLY WAS THE QUEEN OF THE PARTY!
* Sister Marie Turner is Mrs Veronica Turner’s daughter and a «Daughter of Wisdom». She has been working as a missionary for 42 years now: ten years in India,
working in Africa, Asia and Rome for the «Movement for a Better World» on the international team and 32 years in Papua New Guinea where she is actually Regional Superior.
Her missionary leave is due next year; she advanced one month of it for
her mum’s 100th anniversary.