After four months of planning, my siblings and myself put all our
plans into action this past Saturday for the celebration
of our father's 100th birthday.
The 'decoration committee'....
I will attempt to give you a sense of my father's 100 years
as my brother, Dennis, did at the party....and very well I must say.
My Dad, James Frederick Cuvelier, was born in 1916.
Just stop for a moment and think about what he has witnessed during his lifetime.
He was born in the middle of World War I, a year later his family survived
the Halifax Explosion , lived through the Great Depression of the '30's,
served in World War II for 3 years in London, England (and one of his jobs at night
was to pick up fire-bombs that the Germans dropped on strategic rooftops
and throw them down into the streets below).
My sister, Jo-Ann, and four of her five grandchildren....
l to r: Sarah Jane, Liam, Branden, Jo, and Cameron.
In the meantime in Halifax his wife, my mother, had her first child
months after his departure to England.
Upon his return, Dad stayed in the Canadian Forces for another year
and then left and opened up a grocery store/fish market.
The 'man of the hour' arrives......with his grand-daughter, Jacqui.
By the time I came along in 1948, I had two sisters
and my father was still in the grocery business.
One day in the late '50's he was offered a job with a car dealership.
He was hesitant at first, but took the chance
and stayed in that business till the mid 80's when he retired.
The first of the 'family' entertainment....my cousin, Cheryl and sister Jo-Ann.
By that time of course, he was the father of six more children......
four more boys and two more girls.
He got the 'ball team' he had always wanted!
You see, my father was a noted 'soft-ball' player in the Maritmes
(the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island)
in the late 1940's and all of the 1950's.
Mayor Mike Savage of Halifax was there on Saturday to give Dad a plaque for the occasion.
In 2015 he was inducted into the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame....
he was the surviving team member.
My niece, Sarah Jane, performed an Irish dance.
Dad loved sports and was also a noted bowler as well.
He played the piano too.......every Sunday we would all stand around it
and sing our heads off to the tunes he loved and some we loved.
My sister, Marilyn, played the piano.
I am often asked when I tell someone my father's age....'How did he do it?'
I usually reply that he never drank alcohol, never smoked
always knew what to do in stressful situations (and he had plenty),
and he would say, and still does, eat lots of 'sweets'!! Which he has done all his life.
My cousin, Alan, rooked me and my niece, Brynn, into doing a skit with him!!
We had NO warning!
I am pretty sure it isn't genetics that has kept him alive and well all these years.
You see, his parents died in their mid 50's. But I must add that
his great grandmother, lived to 102.
So maybe it is a little of all factors....who knows.
My father and his grandson, Jacob.
Whatever the reason for his longevity my father has had and continues to have
as full life as is available to him.
He is a wonderful father....a provider who worked very hard for his wife and family.
I often wonder how he did it......9 kids on a limited income, a wife who had health issues
throughout all of their 66 year marriage, the death of a son and all the other things
that one's life will come across.
Sarah Jane after her performance.
We as a family are so thankful to him for being 'the rudder' in our family.
However he did it, the important thing is that he did.....and well.
All the sibs became part of cousin Alan's routine....singing a chorus to one his tunes.
The party on Saturday was packed!
I sent out 100 invitations last month
and we are sure there were at least 200 in attendance at one point.
Looking more oursleves.....l to r back row: Paula, Fred, Jo-Ann, Dennis, Laurie and myself.
l to r front row: Mim, dad and Marilyn.
As mentioned, my brother, Dennis, was the MC
and we had our cousin, Alan, as the main entertainment.
He knows how to whip up an audience with his singing/acting.
Spreading the love!
Everyone had a good time.
And most importantly, Dad did!
We thought it may be too tiring for him.
But no it wasn't!
He had a very good time.
Dad's great-grand-daughter, Annie May looking up to her Great- Grandfather.
The highlights for him were his grand and great-grandchildren.
He adores them and they make him very happy.
I am very proud of my siblings and myself for making this
100th birthday party celebration a great success.
And I am more proud of my father for all that he has done
and continues to do on a daily basis.
Happy Birthday Dad!
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, sent along her greetings
As did Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
And the Province of Nova Scotia acknowledged the occasion as well.