Ponoka resident Ruth McDonald (seated in the middle) recently celebrated her 102nd birthday, which occurred on Nov. 12, 1916. In the photo are five generations of family, including great, great grandchildren. Photo submitted

A Ponoka resident recently turned 102

She lives in the Golden Leisure Lodge and she’s as busy as ever

A Ponoka resident just celebrated her 102nd birthday and while she marked more than a century on this planet, she can still dance a two-step when she wants to.

Ruth McDonald was born Nov. 12, 1916 during the First World War and was born in Manitoba and raised in Leslieville, AB. McDonald was the sixth child of nine altogether. Back then, there was a serious population boom in Alberta. McDonald’s father came from England and mother from Scotland.

McDonald was living in a home in Fort Saskatchewan a few years ago but decided to make the move to Ponoka’s Golden Leisure Lodge as it is closer to her family and she had a positive experience there. “They (family) were all for it so I just put my name in,” she said.

McDonald was a day away from being two-years-old the day the Armistice of the Great War occurred. A lot has changed over the years.

When asked about what keeps her in such good health, McDonald could not think of one specific thing. “I haven’t got a pain or an ache anywhere,” she said.

In her time things were quite different. McDonald recalls her father buying the family’s first car, a Hupmobile, built by the Hupp Motor Company.

“I was the only one who was home that could drive!” she remembers fondly. “All my brothers were away working. I loved that.”

Where they lived the family didn’t have gas or electricity to heat the home so they stayed warm with a wood stove. “We cooked with a wood stove.”

They did have a phone, however, in those days she recalls having to use codes to make a call. As life progressed, the McDonalds eventually had electricity in a newly built farm home.

Being 102 years old means McDonald gets to see her great, great grandkids, five generations in all when they all get together. The family came together recently to celebrate McDonald’s 102nd birthday.

Mayor Rick Bonnett presented her with a special certificate and he wished her a special birthday.

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