Morinville woman has a century of memories

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Marjorie Jenkins looks over the family photo as she spoke of her twelve children and husband Orval. Marjorie will be 100 on Apr. 21. – Lucie Roy Photo
By Lucie Roy

Morinville – Marjorie Jenkins turns 100 years old Apr. 21 and has many memories of her family, friends and childhood to share with others.

Hanging on the wall in her room at Aspen House are two wedding photos – her own wedding photo and that of her parents. She said her grandchildren like to look at her old wedding photo and comment on the dress she was wearing, which they say looks very expensive. That dress cost $7 back when she married Orval Allan Jenkins of Bon Accord on St. Jean Baptiste Day 1930.

The family picture she holds dearly as she spoke of her children and the different paths they have taken in life.

As to her own life, Marjorie was born in Camargo, Oklahoma, the seventh child of Vincent Sylvester McKenzie and Veanecia Peterman. The family moved to Edmonton in 1913 when Marjorie was not quite a year old. They lived there for a year, when the government sent the family north of Peers where they said the land was good. But Marjorie recalls the family could not even grow a turnip on the land. They lived there for five years at which time the oldest brother and sister went to work in Bon Accord. The landowner of the Peers farm moved back from British Columbia and was going to settle on his land, a situation that lead to the family moving once again, this time to Grassland.

Marjorie said life was a bit rough over the years, but they managed and she survived. “I am here today,” she said. When they had eight children living home, her grandmother came to live with them. Eventually they built a small cabin for Marjorie’s grandmother to live in, but Marjorie said she still had all the laundry and meals to cook. Getting around in the 1900s was mostly by wagon horse buggy or sleigh. Morinville was the closest place to do shopping.

Marjorie said she is the only survivor of her brothers and sisters. Her husband of 58 1/2 years has passed on too. She said her husband died of cancer. The couple had 12 children – seven girls and five boys, all living except one. “Out of the 12, only one that smoked lived until 44 years. Her life was pretty short,” Marjorie said. The remaining children are all in Alberta except one son who lives in Australia with his wife and family.

What the family has planned for her 100th birthday Saturday remains a mystery. Marjorie said she is not too sure what they have planned.

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