Beacher celebrates her 100th birthday

Hazel Ferguson, longtime resident of the Beach, will celebrate her 100th birthday on Aug. 6.

Hazel was born into a large family. Lorne and Maggie Shackleton had 10 children including four girls and six boys. They lived on a farm near Harrietsville, Ontario.

While playing grade school softball, Hazel was scouted by Labatt’s and moved to London, Ontario to join the Labatt’s women’s softball team. During the late 1920s and early 1930 she worked for Labatt’s, Silverwood Dairy, Kellogg’s and Gorman Eckhardts, but was paid primarily for playing softball on their teams.

Hazel Ferguson (then Shackleton) played on the 1930 Dominion Championship softball team. She is on the top row, third from left.

In 1930 the Silverwood Dairy team won a Dominion Championship (left).

During this period she met Gordon Ferguson and married him on Dec. 31, 1931. In 1932 Gordon and Hazel moved to Toronto living on Brooklyn Avenue, Queen and Hammersmith and Queen and MacLean. In 1937, they   purchased a home on Munro Park Avenue where they raised their three children: Robert, Douglas and Gail.

Over the years Hazel worked at Randall’s Stationery on Kingston Road and at Virginia Dare Ladies Wear located at Queen and Lee.

Hazel participated in a number of activities in the community. She was a member of Kingston Road United Church and the Balmy Beach Club where she excelled at five-pin bowling and lawn bowling. Hazel and Gordon were active supporters of scout and cub troops at St. Aidan’s Church and Hazel was a volunteer for the Children’s Aid Society in the 1970s.

Known for being an avid horticulturist, she used to make a wide variety of jams and preserves from the fruit trees and vines in her backyard garden.

That is not to say that Hazel has slowed down. She still plays bridge and euchre, and performs on the piano whenever the opportunity presents itself. She remains active by attending programs sponsored by Neighbourhood Link Support Services and Community Care East York.

Hazel attributes her longevity to a daily breakfast of oatmeal porridge and to her regimen of long walks.

Hazel’s family of three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren are throwing a party at the Balmy Beach Club to celebrate her birthday.


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