For Cloverdale’s Julie Fedyna, the last 100 years have gone by “so fast.”
The longtime Surrey resident recently celebrated her 100th birthday with not one, but two parties: a family get-together at her daughter’s home, which was “just fantastic,” and a second shindig put on by her neighbours at Hoffman Manor.
Fedyna was born in a “little town on the mainline” between Winnipeg and Dauphin, MB, in 1919.
She married Peter Fedyna, “an army man,” on Sept. 25, 1938, in McCreary, MB. The two moved to Toronto, where she had a baby girl, and, in 1941, the young family moved to Surrey, B.C. They bought themselves “a little bit of land” where they kept a cow, chickens and pigs.
Fedyna’s husband found work at Fraser Mills, and continued there for more than 30 years. In between running the home and the farm, Fedyna also worked at the poultry plant. She raised three children, two girls and one boy.
“Life has gone by so fast,” she said. “And I’ve got a lot of good memories.”
After living in Surrey for 78 years, Fedyna said “it’s grown so much.”
In the years that followed her husband’s passing in 1976, she did quite a bit of travelling. Her adventures took her to Italy, Scotland, England, Sweden, Norway, Japan and China.
Her last big trip, she said, was when she went to Brisbane, Australia for Expo 88.
“I’ve done a lot of travelling and now when I look at the T.V. and I see the [landmarks], I think, ‘I’ve been there.’”
She’s lived at Hoffman Manor for around 15 years now, where she enjoys staying active, and playing bingo and card games with the local ladies.
“I’m still trying to be as independent as I can,” she said. “[My kids] are always there to help me anytime I need help. They’ve been very good to me.”
“I’ve been very fortunate,” she said. Although, “I didn’t think so when I was living out in that farm,” she laughed.
She was overcome with all the attention during her birthday, she said. When the Reporter spoke to her in the week following her birthday, she said she was still getting used to the sight of a birthday card hung on the wall, signed by the Queen. It’s “just too overwhelming,” she said. “I shall treasure it.”
“I couldn’t cope with it at first. I wasn’t expecting this big ‘do,’” she said.