Willful and Wily

Photo: David Cox


Edna Trudel says her longevity comes from being active and having strong family bonds. But whether towards others or herself, it is being kind that is the mantra that has helped her reach 100 years. On January 19, surrounded by family and friends, she celebrated her birthday at the Résidence L’Alto in Saint Laurent.

Born in England, Ms. Trudel moved to Montreal when she was about a year and a half old. Athletic all her life, she walks without a cane and even danced a little on her birthday.  She owes that to yoga classes and a lifetime enjoying sports, especially the downhill skiing that would take her from Montreal to hills of St. Sauveur to spend the day with her girlfriends.

The unofficial family historian and daughter in law Danielle Faubert is a huge fan of the spry centenarian. « She’s always been a strong, independent woman that I’ve admired. She learned how to drive before she was a teen, had her own convertible and kept her license until she was 95. She mentioned just the other day how much she misses driving,  » she says.

Always a master of her own destiny, Edna worked in accounting for Northern Electric. It was there that she met her husband Paul who had to chase her until she finally gave in and let him strike up a conversation.  They were married in 1939, but their love would have to wait as world events would separate them.

« I was married for one day when my husband was sent off to World War II. It was the most terrible thing that ever happened to me. I will never forget that, » Edna explained.

Her husband was shipped off for almost 6 years, but Paul came back to her and they were happily married until his passing in 1980.

A family of travellers

When Paul returned, they had two daughters, Patricia and Maureen. The family grew and Edna now counts four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren that live in Canada, the UK and China.

Family means a great deal to her and many of her fondest memories are of summer vacations to Old Orchard and Cape Cod.  The Wormwood Restaurant in Ferry Beach was a place she made sure she visited every vacation. Later on, it was winter holidays that would bring family together.

« The first time I met Edna was Christmas of 1993, and it was clear that it wasn’t Christmas until Edna made the Christmas pudding with Brandy sauce. Heavy on the brandy, light on the sauce, » Danielle Faubert explains.

Today, Edna enjoys the company of Anna and Teresa, her best friends, and the support of the staff and community at the Résidence L’Alto. « Thank you very much, you’ve all been very, very kind to me. I love this place, » she said during her speech.

After the party, she had a sip of Sherry to take in all the pleasure and excitement of the day.


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