(Clara Biggar turns 100 on September 19, 2023. A celebratory morning of golf and a luncheon with the Amberwood Women’s Golf League members took place at ALE on September 12th. Andrea Leask, Clara’s daughter, presents Clara with an autographed photo of Canadian golfing star Brooke Henderson. Photos: Stittsville Central)
When one turns 100 years of age, they become a member of an elite club of senior citizens that is becoming one of the fastest growing clubs in Canada. Born on September 19, 1923, Clara Biggar (nee Rogers) joins this prestigious club.
Born on a farm a few miles from the village of Brookdale, Manitoba, Clara began her journey of life. She attended school at the Consolidated School in Brookdale and then continued to receive her teaching certificate from the Brandon Normal School.
After her school years, Clara taught for a short while at a small local school. She then returned to school to take a stenographer’s course at the Wheat City Business College in Brandon. She worked for various companies throughout the years – International Harvester, Gillis & Warren, with a short employment opportunity in Flin Flon. Clara then found herself in Winnipeg where she worked for a number of years at Pitblaado & Hoskins and at Winnipeg Supply & Fuel and ended her working years at Trans Canada Airlines.
Clara met her husband Andrew during the World War II. He had been a flight engineer training R.A.F. pilots in Manitoba. On September 19, 2002, they had celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Andrew graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of New Brunswick. After marriage in 1952, his new position, took them to Maracaibo, Venezuela where they resided for 13 years. All four of their children were born there. Sadly, Andrew passed away in 2008.
Clara tells us, ” We moved 13 times. Having lived and worked in Montreal, Calgary and Lake Simcoe.” They settled in Stittsville in 1991.
No matter where they lived, they always golfed. Clara tells us, “I always played golf. I’ve had 5 sets of clubs and went through 3 clubhouse fires.” An avid golfer, it was no surprise that she would join the Amberwood Golf & Country Club when she moved to Stittsville. You are never too old to golf!
Clara also found new friends when she joined the Amberwood Women’s Golf League and every Tuesday morning, Clara and her group of friends can be found teeing off at 9:00am.
Knowing her family would be celebrating Clara on her birthday, the women of her golf league celebrated Clara’s 100 birthday with a morning round of golf and a special luncheon at ALE. Suzanne Hiron, Rose Martin and Janet Burnside-Kelly were especially excited to organize the day for Clara.
Sitting beside her good friend and fellow-golfer Alberta, Clara took in the room full of friends cherishing the moment. Clara listened to speeches, had gifts presented to her and enjoyed the two birthday cakes to honour her. Her friend Barb told the group, “Clara sprinkled friendship like fairy dust and we all got some – that is why we are here to celebrate our long-time friendship with Clara.” She then led everyone into singing Happy Birthday.
Clara golfed with Heidi Leopold, Doreen Sauve and Carol Orr on the day of celebration. Heidi was quick to share, “it has been a fantastic morning and we are honoured to golf with Clara on her special day.”
Joseph Elchakieh, President of the Amberwood Village Recreation Association shared his kind thoughts and presented Clara with an lifetime golf membership to Amberwood Golf & Country Club. Councillor Glen Gower shared a few words and presented Clara with a birthday congratulatory message and the gift of a book on picturesque Ottawa from Mayor Sutcliffe.
Clara was also honoured to receive from her daughter, Andrea Leask, a personal message and signed photograph from Canadian women’s golf star, Brooke Henderson. Clara was very excited to receive this.
Clara has lived a good life and says, “I think my longevity is due to conservative living and good genes.” Clara is not one to sit for long and has kept busy over the years with her good friends and family.
We were happy to participate in Clara’s 100th birthday celebration and wish her the best of everything in the years to come. Reaching your 100th birthday is like breaking a sports record that has stood for decades, a remarkable feat in life Clara, and you should be very happy and proud that you’ve broken this special record!
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