WHITE ROCK – A resident of White Rock recently shared a milestone with the city’s main iconic structure – and it’s a big one.
Dorothy Mary Sharpe celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday (May 9) at her near-beachside home, coinciding with the White Rock pier’s 100th anniversary this year.
The English-born mother, grandmother and great-grandmother is spry and – as her name suggests – pretty sharp.
“She’s incredibly independent,” said her daughter, Pamela, who lives in a separate section of the house. Dorothy has her own apartment on the ground level of the White Rock house.
Dorothy celebrated a century with friends and family visiting from as far as Ontario – where the then 41-year-old mom and her young family transplanted themselves in 1955 – at her home over the weekend. More than the victory of celebrating 100 birthdays, Dorothy said her biggest accomplishment to date is surviving the war when she was living back in England.
“Coping during the war, that was my biggest accomplishment,” said Dorothy. “I had Pam (who was) six months old, my husband had to go into the navy, I took in people, families from burned out London, all through the whole five years… I was alone and I coped. I don’t know how I coped but I did.”
While her husband was away, Dorothy housed evacuees from wartorn London, including two boys who later returned to London and died when a doodlebug – also known as the V-1 Flying Bomb – wiped out their street. After a trip to visit a family member, she had come home to learn that her husband’s ship had been sunk.
“We didn’t know until the next day if he was dead or alive,” she said, pausing. “But he lived.
“For the rest of the year, I had people come and stay with me,” she recalled. “I never had a cross word with anybody.”
Years later, she and her family moved to Scarborough, Ont. She moved to White Rock 32 years ago and hasn’t looked back.
“The people are more friendly (in White Rock) because Ontario is more busy and you don’t mix with your neighbours,” she said.
“But I love it here.”