Sytske Drijber celebrates a century

ROCKWOOD – A notice for one of Sytske Drijber’s 100th birthday parties states she is known as a “community influencer.”

When asked how she earned that description, the Rockwood resident wasn’t quite sure.

Drijber still lives in the Mary Street home where she and her husband Oscar moved in 1954 and raised six children. Over the decades she found “101 ways” to get involved.

“Wherever help was needed for betterment, at church, or school, or in the community,” she said.

She was even a newspaper reporter and photographer for the Eramosa Community News in the early 1990s.

As a veteran of the Second World War, she still takes an active part in Rockwood’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Living with purpose – Sytske Drijber left her job as a teacher to volunteer for service in the Second World War. She met her husband while working for the Dutch Intelligence command on the island of Java. She is well-known in Rockwood, her home since 1954.
Submitted photo

She says many people have asked her how she has made it to the age of 100, which will be official on Jan. 29, but she thinks what they really want to know is whether there is any way to live a happy life.

“I do have a recipe,” she said.

“Here it is: Treat others well – they may be hiding deep problems. Really, really look for ways to praise others. Don’t criticize, for no one is perfect – especially yourself.

“This world needs real loving hearts, so be supportive.

“I hope this is an answer. If you follow this recipe, you may not reach an old age, but your years will be happy ones. It worked for me.”


Everton Community Church, located at 379 Evert St. in Everton, will hold a special service followed by a reception on Jan. 26 to celebrate Drijber’s birthday.

The service starts at 10:30am, to be followed by a reception at 12:30pm.

Another party for Drijber’s birthday will be held at the Rockmosa Community Centre in Rockwood on Jan. 29, from 11:30am to 1:30pm. All are welcome and a light lunch will be provided.

RSVP by calling Melissa Biffis at 519-856-9596, ext. 139 or email