Century Celebration held at Heritage Place Lodge

by Lucie Roy

On Tuesday afternoon the Heritage Lodge held a 100th Birthday party for resident Paula Nolte.

The place was filled with residents, friends, family and guests.

Also in attendance to present her with a Congratulatory certificate as she celebrates this milestone was Mayor Barry Turner, Deputy Mayor Lawrence Giffin and Councillor Stephen Dafoe.

Congratulatory messages were on display from the Prime Minister of Canada, Governor General of Canada Julie Payette and one from the Queen.

Providing entertainment for the event was Larry Renn of St. Albert with many old favourites and a sing-along.

Chef Ken Ryks delivered a message on behalf of Site Manager Tracey Burnett and Homeland Housing.

“We would like to wish one of the most beautiful souls on this earth, an amazing 100th birthday. Paula, not only have you changed the lives of many through your infectious smile, laughter and overall lust for life; you have also been an inspiration to us all here for which we are truly grateful. Happiest of birthday’s Paula and thank you for calling Heritage Place Lodge home for the past eight years.”

Temporary Recreation Coordinator Betty Fraser read a speech penned by resident Joe Kuzio.

“Today we get to congratulate Paula in becoming a Centenarian,” Kuzio wrote on behalf of himself, his family members, fellow residents and staff. “I have had the pleasure of Paula’s acquaintance for the past eight years and must say what a positive and time-honoured stretch it has been thus far. I have through many of these years, known Paula to be one of the most considerate warmest, friendly, game loving person I have ever met, be it at lodge functions parties or group outings.

“Paula was always up for it and ready to participate and she always did it in such a graceful manner.

“My recollection takes me back to a day, shortly after Paula moved into the lodge and I offered to drive her out to the family farm in order that she could pick some of the raspberries from her bountiful garden and bring them back to the lodge for all of us to share and enjoy. The look of pleasure on her face was priceless. It also brings back to my mind countless summer days that I could just pull open my window blind and see Paula tending to her flowers and plants, especially her beloved tomato plants, which she monitored very closely, for just the right time to pick the ripened fruit.

“I also recall at Christmas time when I had the pleasure of sharing with Paula a bot of the traditional German-style Christmas cake, called Schtolen. I always like to tease her that she could enjoy and share it if she wished, but could not reveal where she got it, because it was stolen. This never failed to draw out one of her ever familiar chuckles.”

Paula Nolte was born in July 1919 at Kellmunz Germany and had three brothers and two sisters.

After high school, she worked in a government office during the Second World War.

In 1951, she immigrated to Canada as a housekeeper. She had two Uncles in Canada that paid for her flight to Calgary, and she lived in Calgary for a month upon arrival.

The day after her arrival, her Aunt went to Edmonton to attend her cousins nursing graduation, and Paula attended as well.

The following day they visited their German friends; John Schafers and Joseph Nolte in the Morinville area and Paula was with them. Joseph had also met Paula on several occasions in Germany.

Joseph Nolte’s first wife Theresa Bokenfohr had died, and he hired Paula as a housekeeper.

They eventually married in May 1951 at the St. Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic Church with Rev. E. Tessier as the Officiating Clergyman.
Joe and Paula had one daughter and two sons and lived on acreage in Morinville from 1951 to 2011.

Paula always had a really big garden and she invited many friends to come over to share in the bounty.

In the Lodge, Paula has been known for growing beautiful large tomato plants.

Paula said she has 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Joseph passed away in 1989 and Paula remained on the farm until she went to live at Heritage Place Lodge in November 2011.

Paula enjoyed many years singing with the Morinville Minstrels and being a member of the Seniors Rendez-Vous Centre.