This is what Agnes Olson said, with a laugh, when asked what her biggest takeaway in life has been throughout her 100 years. “Mind your own business, and do as you’re told,” she said. “That’s how we were brought up; to learn to do your own thing.”
Olson, a Manoir McGill resident in Hawkesbury, celebrated her 100th birthday on June 15 and received 100 red roses from the residence. “I had a very nice party here and they gave me 100 roses. We had a piano player and we all got a nice meal,” she added. This is a very nice place, I recommend it.”
Olson was born in Montreal and grew up in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, a suburb of the city in southwestern Quebec. She then lived in another suburb of Montreal, called Saint-Lazare, with her husband, until they moved to Hawkesbury. “We decided to get closer to here (Hawkesbury) because we were playing golf often at the golf course here,” she explained.
Olson and her late-husband met in 1968, while they were both working at Air Canada, her as a secretary and him as a manager. Golf is the reason they met and initially got to know each other. Eventually, they created some of their most fond memories. “We enjoyed golfing very much, we played a lot together,” said Olson.
The couple met during a work-related golf tournament. “I didn’t start golfing ‘till I met my man,” she explained. “When he saw me playing (at the tournament) he asked me if I wanted to join him for a 9-hole game. I wasn’t very good, but I went anyway and it just grew from there.” Olson’s husband was previously widowed and had three kids – two sons and a daughter. “We had no more kids after that, we were too busy with golf,” joked Olson.
Although Olson only began to avidly play golf once she met her husband, she did however grow up surrounded by sports. She played softball as a young girl and continued well into her teens. She grew up with six brothers and two sisters, most of which were all interested in sports themselves. “We were brought up with sports, which is nice,” she admitted. “We had a lot of fun. My daddy used to skate a lot and he would bring us all skating. Back in those days, they didn’t plow the streets, so we would go skating right on the street.”
Olson attributes making it to her 100th birthday partly due to genetics and partly due to luck. “My mother made it to 96 years old and her mother, my granny, made it to 106 years old,” she emphasized. “It came from that side of the family, because my daddy died young.”
“I had a good life, I can’t complain,” she continued. “It feels good that I reached it (100 years old) but it is just a number in the end.” Her only complaint in life is that she can no longer golf. “I golfed until I was 86 years old and the only reason I can’t know is because of my knees, they’re swollen,” she admitted. I’d love to get out there and golf again. I feel like I would be able to if it weren’t for my legs. Other than that, I can’t complain.”