Friends and family gathered at the Revelstoke Seniors’ Centre last week to celebrate the 103rd birthday of Ebba Stocks, as well as many other monthly birthdays.
There was a band performance, cake and a special song performed for Ebba by the Seniors’ Choir.
Check out the photo gallery from the event, and learn more about Ebba from this Oct., 2008 file story celebrating her 100th birthday:
She’s not quite 100 yet, but Ebba Stocks has already received letters from the Premier, Prime Minister and Governor General congratulating her on her birthday, which is actually this Saturday, Oct. 25. Stocks was also surprised by a birthday party at the Revelstoke Seniors’ Centre last Wednesday where she received flowers from the Revelstoke Seniors as well as from Mayor Mark McKee on behalf of the City of Revelstoke. Stocks said she was pleasantly surprised about the party which was held for her — especially when a special song was sung.
A lot has happened in the past 100 years – two World Wars, the introduction of Canada’s flag in 1965, the first commercial airplane flight. When you consider it, these are a very small number of feats accomplished over the past century – and Revelstoke’s Ebba Stocks has been around for them all.
Ebba, who is turning 100 this year, was born in Revelstoke on Oct. 25, 1908.
“I don’t remember much from being a young girl,” Stocks says during an interview in her home. While she has someone come in to help her out a bit she still lives on her own.
She does, however, remember that the land where her family lived included a hollow with “the best raspberries I’ve ever eaten.”
“Later on we had our own raspberry patch and our own yard, but that was way after I was grown up,” says Stocks.
Ebba recalls that Nels Nelson won the ski jumping on Mount Revelstoke – and although she wasn’t really friends with him she did know him.
Ebba was also a skier, although it was only for fun.
“A few of us used to go up Mount Revelstoke and we’d ski up and then back down,” she says. “We’d go up there and cook and have a meal.
“We didn’t go to the top (of Mount Revelstoke), we only went part way up – probably five miles up is as far as we’d go.”
Ebna’s good friend Rowena Meehan would then cook up a meal for everyone.
“Rowena always wanted to make supper for us,” she says.
Ebba stopped skiing, however, after she got married.
“I stopped skiing when I got married because he didn’t ski and I didn’t see the sense in doing it anymore,” she said.
Before speaking about her husband, George, Ebba takes a moment, closing her eyes as though remembering before saying, “He was the best husband.”
The couple lived on Mackenzie Avenue.
“George was a photographer and we had a combination house and business. I looked after the business pretty well. I would dress the windows and the kids would come in and say ‘I hope I have a place like this!’ And I would say ‘Do you like dusting?’ and they would say ‘No!’ and I’d say ‘Well then don’t have a little store.’”
Despite all the dusting involved, however, Ebba says she loved waiting on customers and visiting with the children who came into ooh and aah at the window displays. While Ebba and George very much wanted to have children it never happened.
“That was the biggest disappointment in our marriage,’ said Ebba.
When asked what words of wisdom she would give to today’s young people, Ebba’s reply is simple: “Talk it out,” she says.
“Sit down and talk it out.”
After nearly an hour of talking, Ebba decides it’s time to call it quits.
“I think I’ve had enough,” she says – and at 100 years old, she has earned every right to end an interview exactly when she chooses.
After all, it has been a very busy time for Ebba. She has already received letters from the Premier, the Prime Minister and the Governor General. At the time the interview took place a letter from the Queen was still to arrive. There was also the surprise party for Ebba at the Seniors’ Centre last Wednesday where she was presented with flowers from both the Seniors’ Centre and Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee.
“It’s a big milestone,” McKee said of Ebba’s birthday. “You think about the amount of change a person has seen in that time.”
Ebba’s party at the Seniors’ Centre included cake and ice cream and a special song written about her titled “If I knew Ebba”, sung to the tune of ‘Sioux City Sue’ by Bing Crosby. The whole ordeal – from the flowers to the cake to the song – came as a total surprise.
“I was just bowled over because I didn’t think there was anything special because my friends never said anything about it,” said Ebba, who thought she was just going to the Seniors’ Centre for the monthly afternoon tea.