By Kevin J Sabo
For the Advance
Worker strikes, women’s right to vote, and the end of The Great War dominated headlines in 1919. In 1919, Robert Borden was the sitting Prime Minister of Canada. Soldiers were returning from Europe, and the world was adjusting to peace brought by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the official end of World War I. A worker strike which turned violent in Winnipeg lasted over a month. New Brunswick and the Yukon granted women the right to vote. The birth of a baby-girl on Feb. 1, 1919 was not newsworthy at the time, however 100 years later that girl has lived a full life and become part of a very special group of seniors.
With the help of Castor Extendicare’s staff and the Our Lady of the Rosary Women’s Auxiliary Extendicare resident Sarah Lehman celebrated her one-hundredth birthday on Feb.1.
“We normally celebrate birthdays once a month for our residents,” said Karen Baker, volunteer coordinator at Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital. “Since Sarah was our only February birthday we decided to have the party on her birthday and really make it special for her.”
Sarah grew up around Gooseberry lake, near Coronation, and finished school up to grade 7. She met the love of her life, Otto Lehman, and they married in 1947, eventually settling on a farm at the edge of Castor. Eventually, Sarah had two children, Darlene and Oscar, both of whom pre-deceased their mother.
Even with her husband and children gone, Sarah’s birthday was not short of friends and well-wishers. Between Extendicare staff, residents, and long-time friends, close to 40 people were packed into the common room at the extended-care facility. There was carrot cake, ice-cream, coffee, and juice for all the well wishers. Mayor Richard Elhard even stopped in with a gift for Sarah on behalf of the town and council.