There were high jinks in Darling over the last weekend and there was every reason for a celebration of that kind. Mrs. Jennie Majaury reached the age of 100 years on June 25th which makes her almost equal with the mythical Johnnie McGlorie that they used to tell us about when we were youngsters.
Mrs. Majaury at the centenary mark is a remarkable woman. Her eyesight is still so keen she can knit without glasses and her hearing is sharp enough to detect the sound of a locomotive whistle on the Kingston & Pembroke Railway many miles away. Mrs. Majaury is a native of Darling Township, having been born on a farm within a mile of the one on which she spent all of her life following marriage and widowhood.
Her father was Joseph Crawford, an Irish immigrant who came out to this country in his youth and settled in the northern part of Lanark County. He married Peggy Stewart, an Old Country girl who hit the long trail to Canada in the sailing ship days. Back in the long, long ago Peggy Stewart married Henry Majaury and, as stated before, the honeymoon excursion was confined to about a mile. There was a family of nine children, five of whom are still living.
Mrs. Majaury’s husband died upwards of 70 years ago and she was left to bring up the youngsters. She did it, too, with that grim determination characteristic of the pioneers. She made potash and made a living out of the rough country in which she had been born.
Her immediate family members are. Mrs. Margaret M. Foster, Calabogie; Mrs. Robt. Folkard, Carleton Place; Jas. Majaury, Carleton Place; Tom and Joe of Darling. There are 50 grandchildren; 80 great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren. At the celebation which continued into Sunday, there were many visitors to the old home.
Mrs. Majaury for all her 100 years was the life of the party in many ways—certainly she was the central point of it anyway. She told of the far off time when she and her sister, Sarah Ann, used to tramp all the way into Almonte to buy supplies for the household. They would make the trip in one day, rest for a day in what then, no doubt, was Shipman’s Mills, and return home the third day with the stuff on their backs.
They felt none the worse, of it and considered the journey a sort of excursion such as some young punks —male and female—might feel today about a motor jaunt to Ottawa via highway 44. Many people from all over North Lanark and South Renfrew called to felicitate the elderly lady on her one hundredth birthday. Among them were John Craig, former M.L.A. for Lanark and Lome Stewart, Reeve of Lanark Township and former Warden of Lanark County. Express Felicitations Letters of congratulation were read out to her from Jas. Dempsey, M.L.A. for South Renfrew; Hon. George H. Doucett, M.L.A. for Lanark and others.
Like most old people, Mrs. Majaury is a hospitable person and has a rule that no one who calls upon her can leave without the traditional cup of tea. On Saturday night, during the festivities, she step-danced with great agility and an 80-year-old lad from Fallbrook (Murray by name) is said to have got up and done the same. As stated before, her eyesight is good. She knits and reads. In the summer she likes to go about iki her bare feet as was the custom in olden times. Like most centenarians, Mrs. Majaury who is a Presbyterian in religion, was asked to what she ascribed her great age. And while this may shock the clergy the Gazette takes especial delight in “witnessing to the truth” as Martin Luther said on one memorable occasion.
Declared Mrs. Majaury—”I go to bed early and always got up early. I like a drink of liquor and I love to smoke my pipe.” It Is said that Mrs. Majaury was presented with 15 pipes during the festivities by those who knew her fondness for the combustion of chewing tobacco which would raise the top of most veteran tobacco smokers’ heads. Truly it is hard to figure out the reasons for longevity. So many people who have no so-called bad habits—we mean smoking —live to be 100. How are we going to figure this thing out? We’ll leave it to Mrs. Majaury. She has more experience than we will ever have. , Mrs. F. O. Somerton of Water Street; Almonte, is a great granddaughter of Mrs. Majaury.