January 10, 2013 - 11:13 AM
Ruth Bosomworth turns 100 in her hometown's centennial year, and though she wasn't born in Armstrong, she's lived there for most of her life and members of the community believe she is the city's oldest living resident.
Bosomworth was born Aug. 13, 1913 and moved to Armstrong with her husband Neil in the early 1940s.
"The war was still going on," she says. "We'd only been married a few years."
The young couple left their farm in Lethbridge so that Neil could take up work with the B.C. Pea Growers in Armstrong. But it wasn't long before Neil decided to change gears and go into hog farming.
"We moved into an old house on Round Prairie Rd. and Neil went into pigs," Bosomworth says. "And he really went into pigs with a vengeance."
The Bosomworths worked on the farm until Neil was 65, then downsized to a smaller property, still on Round Prairie Rd. They had three children: David who became a social worker, John who became a doctor, and Diana, David's twin sister who had cerebral palsy and tragically passed away at the age of four.
"And now I have a great grandson," Bosomworth says, gesturing to a baby photo nestled amongst a collection of framed family photos. The coloured photo of her great-grandson contrasts the austere black and white portraits of other family members, and adds to the visual timeline of her life.
The 99-year-old says says she doesn't give her age much thought.
"I just keep slugging away," she says. "I don't feel it's anything that gives me much credit. I don't give up easily."
Bosomworth attributes her healthy 90's to a combination of exercising both the mind and the body.
"I never drove a car," she says. "I road my bike until I was 80. I just kept moving."
Her destination was usually the library, which used to sit where the current Armstrong Museum and Art Gallery is. She worked there for over 15 years.
"I've always been a bookworm," she says. Along with a number of good friends, Bosomworth has been active for over 50 years in the Minerva Club, a book club for Shakespeare enthusiasts.
"It's one of the best things in my life," she says, adding the discussions help keep her mind sharp.
Bosomworth has a healthy curiosity in the world and the people in it, which she believes keeps her young.
"I think you need to have an interest in people," she says. "And in things that are going on in the world. You have to keep your interests high in things that are happening."
One of Bosomworths biggest regrets is not finishing university. Since she was a girl, Bosomworth has loved to learn, and feels post secondary education would have changed her life. She got a taste of it for one year, but when her mother fell ill, she had to return home to help the family.
"I would have gone into the education program," she muses. "And I've also always liked writing."
The book she would write, she says, would be of her life and the people she's met, including Lucy Maud Montgomery and Nellie McClung, Canada's famous feminist. Bosomworth says she met Montgomery as a young girl when she was engrossed in her novels, such as Anne of Green Gables.
"Maybe I'll get my old typewriter in here someday," she says, adding her hands are still good for such endeavours.
She says friendship is her biggest asset in life. "Friends are the things that keep you going, I really think so."
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013