Eloise Chandler celebrates 110th birthday with party at Harmony Hall

Eloise Chandler celebrates her 110th birthday with Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, her great niece Toni Terrill at Harmony Hall on Wednesday. Photo by Amanda Da Silva.

By AMANDA DA SILVA

She showed up promptly at 11:30 a.m., walked in holding onto her great niece’s arm and made her way to the front of the hall.

Eloise Chandler celebrated her 110th birthday at Harmony Hall, at 2 Gower St. in East York, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, surrounded by some family and staff but mostly her fellow euchre players.

Chandler was just expecting her weekly round of euchre when she saw all of the decorations and said was “shocked” and “speechless.”

After waving to her guests that included Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Beaches-East York MPP Rima Berns-McGown, she sat down and thanked everybody for coming.

“I wish you all the best in all the years to come,” said Chandler.

On Jan. 21, 1910, Chandler was born in Georgetown, Guyana. She is the youngest of 13 siblings.

Chandler came to Canada in 1920 and has been a resident of Toronto ever since. She worked for many years at a bank.

Harmony Hall was built in 1967 by the East York Barbershoppers as a Centennial project for local seniors. The South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC,) now runs the hall and offers a number of seniors’ activities including euchre and carpet bowling.

The SRCHC staff and some of the euchre players believe that Chandler was part of one of the original group of people that started going to the hall back in the 1960s.

Chandler is not your average 110-year-old.

Along with playing a mean game of euchre she also plays other card games, plays Scrabble, does word searches and crossword puzzles.

She also does exercises in bed and is still self sufficient, not needing a walker or cane and keeps active.

Chandler also has a great sense of humour.

“We are quite blessed to have her in our lives,” Toni Terrill, her great niece said.

Terrill, who married Chandler’s great nephew, Duane, has been one of her main caretakers for the past five years. The role alternates between the siblings (great nieces and nephews) and in-laws.

“I love being with her,” said Terrill.

Terrill believes that because Chandler keeps active and does activities that work her mind she is able to be healthy and vital.

 


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