Today (Nov. 29) is a very special day for long-time Mission resident Eva Wiens. It’s her 100th birthday.
Born Eva Jean Brunel, she grew up in Egremont, Alta., after her parents moved there from France towards the end of the First World War.
Eva enjoyed sports as a child, playing softball, basketball and cricket.
After high school, she moved to Edmonton to go to college. When the Second World War began, she and two friends moved to Vancouver.
Her first job was in a cafe, where she met her husband to be, John Wiens.
Eva then worked in a war plant building located at the opening to Stanley Park. She was what was known as a “Rosie the Riveter.”
In 1944 she and John married and, after a three-year stay in Coquitlam, they moved to Clay Street in Mission in 1947.
Mission has been her home ever since.
“Once you move here and you have your home here and you work here, your friends are here then, so you stay,” she said.
“We had some nice friends and nice neighbours; that helps you to stay.”
Eva and John raised three children in Mission. John leased land to log and they had a strawberry patch when they first moved here.
They eventually bought Canon Contracting from Johnson Cannon and bought City Ready Mix, which ran from the pit on Dewdney Trunk Road.
Eva and John were together until John’s passing in July 2009.
While she may be turning 100, Eva still has a zest for life and likes to remain active. Most people find that she is easygoing.
“Not always that easygoing – ask the kids,” Eva says.
Asked what she likes to do now, Eva gives a short answer: “Whatever I can get away with.”
She said she likes to travel.
“My daughter and I just came back from Palm Springs.”
She was also in Las Vegas in the spring.
“I like gambling a little… when I’m winning, that is.”
However, she also took in a show as she went with her daughter to see the Chippendales dancers.
Eva does a little bit of everything and says, “Whatever I did, I always enjoyed.”
While life may be a little slower now, Eva still keeps busy.
“Do a little sleeping, a little reading, a little eating, a little playing cards, a little going out whenever you get a chance, go to the casino once in awhile. I hear it’s moving to this end of town; it will be nicer.”
She’s also a night owl, staying up late, often past 1 a.m. reading the paper. She is an avid reader.
“I like to know what’s going on in the world as well as Mission.”
Eva now lives in The Cedars on Horn Street. She credits her longevity to the fact that she has always been healthy, from the time she was a child.
Her daughter, Donna Wiens, asked Eva what her life philosophy was.
Without missing a beat, she replied, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
When questioned if she just made that up on the spot, she laughed and added, “And the rest of it, take with a grain of salt.”