Fergus resident celebrates 100th birthday

FERGUS – Longtime Fergus resident Mary Woods will celebrate her 100th birthday on Aug. 20.

“You live every day as well as you can, that’s about the size of it. As well as you can,” said Woods, reflecting on the years.

Woods’ daughter, Marilyn Emmerson, plans to host a party in her condo building’s amenity room, with about 25 family members coming out. 

Woods joked about not being thrilled with all the attention but Emmerson added that even though her mother doesn’t love the spotlight, once the celebrations kick off she’ll be a fan.

Now residing at Highland Manor Retirement Lodge, Woods moved to Fergus in approximately 1938 or 1939, to work at the Beatty Brothers Factory making ammunition boxes. 

She met future husband Harry Woods at the factory; they married in 1940 and went on to have six children.  

After her youngest child was in school, Woods went back to work.

She accepted work at Groves Memorial Community Hospital as a nurse’s aid in the geriatrics, surgical and emergency  units.

Her last assignment was as a purchasing agent and head of the Central Services Unit until retirement at the age of 65.

In the past Woods has volunteered at Melville United Church, and at the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

“A picture exists of Mary and [her husband] dancing on the main street of Fergus on the opening of the Shand Dam,” states a letter from the family.

Woods also attended the first Scottish Festival and Highland Games as her husband, Harry Woods, was part of a pipe band.

 A large part of Woods’ life has been travelling, notably  later in life. Her favourite places are Egypt, Italy and China.

Woods said Egypt “was completely away from anything I had ever known, and therefore it was fantastic.”

Emmerson spoke of her mother’s adventurous spirit, noting that once, while travelling on a tour, Woods disappeared from the group to go white water rafting. She was in her 70s at the time.

“The years just keep passing,” said Woods.

She added that looking back, some periods were slow and others were fantastic.