• James Armstrong

Hudson resident raises a flag to celebrate 100 years of life


PHOTO BY KATHRYN PORTER

Elsie under the Union Jack with her three great grandchildren, from left, Beau, Jasmine and Jackson.

For Elsie Hart Chapman, Sunday, September 23 was a special day as family and friends gathered at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Pamela and Don Maguire, to celebrate her landmark birthday of 100 years.

“I was born on Christophe Columbe Street in Montreal,” said Elsie as she recounted the story of how a Union Jack flag was connected to that day. Although the eldest of her siblings, Elsie was not the first born as two brothers who died in infancy preceded her birth: one in 1914 and the other in 1916. Her mother vowed that if her third child survived, she would fly the flag from the gallery.

“There was no doubt in her mind that it would be the Union Jack,” she said. Thus the national flag of the United Kingdom was proudly flying on the front verandah of the Maguire home last Sunday. That symbolic flag served as the Regimental Flag of the Como Rifles comprised of 27 men from the eastern part of Hudson who served overseas in World War I.

Elsie attributes her longevity to having a great family and friends.

“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke,” she added with a laugh adding, “I tried it and didn’t like it.”

Family members and friends travelled from as far away as Vancouver, Canada and Australia to attend the celebration. As for major memories from years gone by, one of her best was from the end of World War II in downtown Montreal.

“Saint-Catherine Street was full of people from one side to the other. It wasn’t organized or anything. It just happened. People were so happy the war was over,” she said.

Regarding her plans for the future, she said they are, “To live!”

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