MacLean, Annie

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                                         ANNIE MACLEAN
                                        By Cathy Carnahan

CHATHAM – It’s no easy task to recite the alphabet backwards, but Annie MacLean is still amazing her friends at 100.

Mount St. Joseph’s nursing home in Chatham is holding a special birthday party for her in the lounge on Friday at 1:30 p.m. On that day, Annie turns a century old.

She can’t hear much anymore, and her memory isn’t what it used to be, but she still enjoys company and the opportunity to entertain with her ABCs. She also enjoys a good game of bowling and is the oldest bowler at the nursing home.

Annie was born in Escuminac, one of six children to Lettie and Phillip Carroll. The family moved to Chatham when she was just young and it has been her home ever since.

It is here she and her late husband, John S. MacLean – who was also born in Escuminac, had their three children. One daughter is the only child left, although Annie still has four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

Annie’s daughter, Lettie Catherine, died at six months, and her son died just weeks ago.

For many years, Annie lived with her son and his wife on Upper Water Street, and her daughter-in-law says she has many fond memories of their time together. “I was only 16 when I lost my mother so I always called her Mother. I think she is a wonderful person. I don’t think we ever had a word all the time we lived together,” she said in an interview.

Annie’s daughter smiled. “My brother was the apple of his mother’s eye, and I was the apple of my father’s eye,” she said. She remembers her parents lived on Copping Avenue for several years, then moving to McIntosh Street.

There are several photos of Annie in her prized flower beds and similar photos are on display in Annie’s room. “She always loved flowers, and my brother was a lot like her, too. He always had flowers around,” said the daughter.

“And Mother was always the proper outlaw to act the fool and have a good time. “She was still turning hand springs in her eighties. She was the life of a party.

“She is also a very demanding woman. She still is,” her daughter said. “And her name was Anne with an ‘e’ always. Then they got calling her Annie up at the mount and she’s been going by that ever since,” she added.

Annie is a life member of the United Church, and member of the UCW and the Rebekah Lodge. She is also a life member of the ladies auxiliary of the Chatham Legion and also a past member of the Twilight Gems Senior Citizens’ Club.

She delighted in playing Auction 45 and other card games, recall her family.

At 95, however, Annie broke her hip and she has been in and out of a couple of nursing homes since then. Now at Mount St. Joseph’s, the photos on display depict a younger woman in an earlier day.

Source: Miramichi Leader – November 17, 1993

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