Dorothy McCann will turn 100 years old on Saturday. She will be having an open house at the Rossland Legion Hall.

Rossland resident putting hundredth candle on the cake

Dorothy McCann will be marking a century this weekend and invites everyone to come celebrate Oct. 15.

A Rossland resident will be marking a century this weekend and invites everyone to come celebrate.

Dorothy McCann turns 100 on Saturday.

Despite her age, McCann is a vibrant, sharp lady who enjoys playing cards with her daughter, Irene Dixon, on weekends.

“We’ll play cards for four hours each day,” Dixon said. “That’s what’s kept her mind sharp. You’d have trouble to beat her. She’s good.”

She was born in Birtil, Sask. in 1911 at her parents’ farm house, which McCann said was the norm back then.

“That’s how it was in those years,” she said. “I don’t know whether dad went and got the doctor or not, but we weren’t born at the hospital, that’s for sure. We did have a midwife stay with us for a few days.”

McCann was 59 when she and her husband, Mac, bought the Allan Hotel and moved to Rossland. The Allan used to be on Columbia Avenue.

They operated the hotel for over three years.

“Us women put our names on the license and we went in there and helped serve beer at times,” she said, of her time at the hotel.

They then sold that building and moved to the coast in order to sell a house they had there.

The move didn’t last long, however, and within three months they were back in Rossland, this time getting into the clothing business.

“Weiner had been after us before we even left here to take over the Weiner’s clothing store,” she said. “We didn’t know whether we wanted to do that or not. He came down while we were still in the house (on the coast) before it sold down there and talked us into coming back. So, Mac, he came back and settled it.”

They sold the house on the coast and McCann joined her husband back in Rossland, now at the Weiner’s clothing store.

“I guess we were there four years,” she estimated.

They sold the store in 1966 to the Lyster family and it became Lyster’s clothing store.

“We had a house on Columbia, we sold that,” she said. It went along with the store.

They owned the last house before going up Black Bear hill on the right.

“So when we sold that (the clothing store) we sold the house to them and we moved back to the coast.”

It was not until 1997 that they came back to Rossland and lived in the LeRoi apartments for a year until the Esling Park Lodge was finished.

“They were in here on the ground floor,” Dixon said. “Before it was even built they got in on it.”

The condos in the building were originally meant to be purchased and owned by the dwellers, but didn’t get enough purchasers and so became rentals.

“We all bought in. We were supposed to own these apartments, but you couldn’t get enough people to come in to them. So it went rental,” she said.

Mac passed away in 2000.

“We were here (in the building) just a year and a half before he passed away,” she said. “He died in March and if he’d have lived another two years, we’d have been married 65 years. We had a good celebration on our 50th anniversary and we celebrated our 40th.”

The reason the family originally left Saskatchewan was because Mac’s brother had a farm in White Rock.

“He had daffodil bulbs and he wanted somebody to look after them,” she said. “So we came out to look after them. We had our own cows, chickens. We sold eggs to the hatchery.”

Mac had been in the air force for two and a half years, but didn’t go overseas. He was stationed at the Queen Charlotte Islands for nine months. Then when he came out of there they built a house in Birtil.

“We lived there until 1948, when we came out to the coast. We had our four children then. We were going to stay there. Then when this other thing came up about bulbs, we came out here,” she said, estimating she’s moved more than 14 times in her life.

“But we always seemed to better ourselves by doing it.”

McCann grew up with three sisters and a brother.

“My brother just passed away two years ago and he was 95,” she said. “My oldest sister was 90 and I think Rita was 85 when she passed away.”

Though McCann says she hasn’t had a career, that isn’t to say she hasn’t worked. Aside from putting in time at the various places they owned, she also raised four children.

McCann never had a car, since it was never convenient.

The one time she tried driving resulted in a flattened fence on their farm.

She also learned to swim when she was 70 and to ride a bike at 72.

She had four children: three boys and one girl. One of her sons, Arnie, lives in Cranbrook; another, Bill, in California. They will be here for the party on Saturday. Her other son, Art, passed away in 1985.

“I have seven grandchildren and I have about six or seven great-grandchildren. I have one great great granddaughter. She’s four months old.”

The open house is from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday at the Rossland Legion Hall and everyone is invited.

 

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