B.C. woman forced to celebrate 104th birthday in emergency room

At 104, Jean MacKay still a common sight in Oak Bay Village

Oak Bay’s Jean McKay is surprised by her family with a birthday cake in the emergency room on Sunday, her 104th birthday. (Kay Alexander Photo)

On the eve of her 104th birthday, Oak Bay’s Jean MacKay fell and broke her arm on Saturday.

Not missing a beat, her family brought cake to MacKay in the emergency ward at Royal Jubilee on Sunday.

READ MORE: Oak Bay woman turns 102 with little fanfare

“She’s one grand old lady who did not want to want to miss her cake,” said family member Kay Alexander. “Jean was so disappointed missing her party so we brought the cake to her.”

MacKay wanted to blow the candles out but the family was not permitted to light them in the emergency room.

“While we were waiting for the cake she just kept asking, ‘When is the cake coming?’ ” said her great-niece Kira Whitlock. “So we told her the candles were lit because she wanted them and she is also blind. She blew the candles and we told her, of course, that one was still lit and she must have a boyfriend.”

MacKay stayed single her whole life and travelled the world with her sister Margaret, Whitlock said. Their other sister, Mary, was Whitlock’s grandmother. MacKay relocated to Oak Bay 44 years ago after she retired from her government job in Winnipeg at 60 years old.

She still lives on her own, along Newport Avenue, and walks to Oak Bay Village with help. Two years ago, her building mates insisted on a tea to celebrate her 102nd birthday.

At that stage, she said, “I don’t even know how I got this far,” with a laugh. “What do you do when you’re 102?”

On Sunday she said she didn’t expect to live to be 104.

“My husband said to her ‘and still be this good looking,’ and she laughed,” Whitlock said. “She loves to laugh and it comes easily to her.”

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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