Winnipeg-born Doreen (Dody) Grant has lived on the Sunshine Coast since the 1980s, first in Davis Bay and as of about 15 years ago, in Gibsons. On Jan. 7 she turned 100 – a few days behind one of the youngest Coasters, New Year’s baby Ruairí Dhillon, born Jan. 4.
The newly-minted centenarian lives at the Georgia Mirage housing development near Eaglecrest Drive, where she receives daily visits from care worker Leny Cookson.
Cookson organized a “drive by” birthday party on Thursday that also included flowers and a card from the Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish, salutations from library staff, and a year’s supply of ice cream courtesy of Island Farms and IGA Gibsons.
The active senior was playing golf at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Roberts Creek into her nineties.
“Don’t challenge her to a Scrabble game on her iPad, because you won’t win” said son Greg Grant, 73.
Dody married George Grant in 1942 and stayed married until his death at the age of 93, about five years ago.
The pair lived in Vancouver and spent 30 years in Southern California, where her husband sold food to grocery stores.
In early adulthood, Dody kept busy raising her two sons, volunteering, and golfing.
She was an active volunteer at the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Roberts Creek and golfed with Wilma Sims, who turned 100 last July and played a key role in founding the Roberts Creek course. “For a little country club like that, we had lots of stuff going, and it was fun to belong,” said Ms. Grant.
Next to her television is a six-inch statue of a female golfer, which Ms. Grant won at the age of 90. “That’s the only one I display. Every time I look at it, it makes me laugh,” she said.
Ms. Grant played bridge twice a week with friends at her home until pandemic restrictions took effect, and continues to follow professional golf on television. She’s a crossword fan and avid reader, burning through at least six books a week – one of the secrets of her Scrabble prowess, said her son. These days she prefers light-hearted fare, such as Romance Writers of America hall of famer Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Even during COVID-19, visiting the library has been a “treat,” Ms. Grant said.
She’s also keeping an eye on politics, including south of the border. “Right now it’s just unbelievable,” she said, one day before Trump supporters mobbed the U.S. Capitol. “I really do think he has more than one screw loose,” she said.
Astrology has been a lifelong hobby, too, and may have also helped in the longevity department, according to Ms. Grant, since Capricorns are the longest-lived sign of the zodiac. “I think they’re cautious, that keeps you from doing really stupid things,” she said, adding they’re also “altogether marvellous … and they lie a lot.”
While her mobility has declined, Ms. Grant remains in good health, even as COVID-19 restrictions have meant that “keeping going” is the order of the day. “The only thing really holding us back is the COVID, like everybody else.”
Staying positive “is probably one of the reasons I don’t feel 100,” she said. “To me, it’s just a number.”