The only thing better than celebrating 90 years of life is having someone special to share the occasion with.
SO HAPPY TOGETHER..
Fraternal twins Mary Charron (left) and Frank Niedzwiecki celebrated their 90th birthday together at the South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club on Saturday, October 20. (Photo by Louis Tam)
Mary Charron and her fraternal twin Frank Niedzwiecki marked their momentous milestone together at a special birthday party on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the South Muskoka Curling and Golf Club. The reason for their old age, Charron said, is really quite simple.
“Hard work, faith. Really to have a strong faith is a big plus in my life,” she said. “That’s about it.”
The twins grew up in Brunel Township, where they both worked on a farm. Charron now lives in Bracebridge, while her brother is a resident at the Fairhaven Nursing Home in Huntsville. Her twin, however, has always made the effort to keep their connection alive through the years.
“We haven’t seen each other that often through the years, but occasionally we would get together,” she said. “My brother would come to visit me, and when my husband passed away, my twin brother would visit and bring goodies for the children, him and his wife.”
The twins marked their last milestone together at the age of 75, when they celebrated their birthdays at the Utterson Community Centre. Though Frank Niedzwiecki is now bound to a wheelchair, he was described by younger brother Mack as an intrepid risk taker in his younger days.
In one incident on the farm, Mack recalls his older brother barely escaping with his life after a bucking horse took off with Frank’s foot caught in the stirrup. In another episode, Frank made good on a dare to lasso a schoolyard friend while on horseback.
“The next you know, the war was on and he was gone to war. He enlisted,” said Mack.
Serving as part of a tank crew in the Second World War, Frank was wounded while fighting in Italy.
“He was wounded by shrapnel in the arm,” said Mack. “And then after he got better they put him right back into he front lines, and they marched all the way up through Europe.”
Charron also did her part for Canada’s war effort, having travelled down to southern Ontario to contribute on the home front.
With family members coming from as far away as British Columbia to celebrate their special day, Charron said it was the “family reunion” aspect of the festivities that she enjoyed most on Saturday.
“One by one they departed and made their own way, so to speak,” she said of her children. “But here they all are. They’re all here, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It’s a beautiful feeling.”
Bracebridge Deputy Mayor Rick Maloney was also on hand to present the twins with a series of certificates from various political dignitaries, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty and Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith.
“I think every important person in Canada has recognized your 90th birthday today,” Maloney said to the twins.