Gladys Mary Lethbridge Congratulations on One Hundred and Ninth Birthday


Senator Statement Senator Jane Cordy December 12th, 2013

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, I am sure we can all think of numerous ways in which the world has changed since we came to be part of it. Even the last 10 years have marked significant changes in what information is available to us, how we receive it and, in turn, how we interact with one another. Imagine into the future about 50 years and what sorts of things we might see. What an amazing thing to be a witness to a century of change.

It is because of this that I come to speak to you today about Gladys Lethbridge, who has just celebrated her one hundred and ninth birthday. She was born Gladys Mary Smith on November 25, 1904, in East Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia. Gladys attended Normal School in Truro and, as a teacher, taught in Chezzetcook, Windsor and Westphal. In 1933, she married Charlie Lethbridge, to whom she was married for 73 years until his death in 2006 at the age of 98. They had two children, Edna and Gerry, who both live in Dartmouth.

Although confined to a wheelchair, Gladys is in remarkably good health. She has impaired vision and hearing, but when we imagine all the history that has fallen upon her eyes and ears over the last century, we can understand why they might start to fade. I am also told that with some prompting Gladys will gladly share stories and events of the past.

Gladys Lethbridge's family is trying to determine if she is the oldest person in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, staff at Statistics Canada have stated that they are prohibited by law from releasing any information they collect that would identify a person. The family is not asking for the names of any individual; they are just interested in how many Nova Scotians are older than 109. In 2011, Statistics Canada reported that 200 individuals in Nova Scotia were over 100 years of age. Surely, if that information was fine to release in 2011, then in 2013 they can release how many individuals in Nova Scotia are over the age of 109.

Honourable senators, while we don't know whether Gladys is the oldest Nova Scotian, we do know she is among the oldest. I hope you will join me in extending best wishes to Gladys Lethbridge, who has celebrated her one hundred and ninth birthday.