Town presents plaque

Stanstead Journal - - DEATH NO­TICE -

she had been cel­e­brat­ing for four days as var­i­ous grand­chil­dren and friends came to share her spe­cial oc­ca­sion. Not one to call at­ten­tion to her­self, she sat in her room at Place San­born, re­ceiv­ing con­grat­u­la­tions from those that gath­ered with good wishes, look­ing alert and happy. Guests were greeted by her son, Richard, his wife, Pat, and their son Ryan and ush­ered into the tiny room that sported five dif­fer­ent bou­quets of flow­ers, as well as a poin­set­tia plant. On the ta­ble in a prom­i­nent place stood a plaque re­ceived from and signed by Prime Min­is­ter Steven Harper. Cards over­flowed an­other ta­ble. Some­one thought there should be a hun­dred cards, one for each year. Guests were treated to a piece of de­li­cious birth­day cake or a birth­day cup­cake. Of course, many pic­tures were taken.

Ayer’s Cliff mayor, Alec van Zuiden, ar­rived bear­ing gifts from the town of Ayer’s Cliff, which has been Irma’s home for at least 65 years. A plaque, hon­our­ing her as a val­ued cit­i­zen and a charm­ing Royal Doul­ton fig­urine were pre­sented.

Chat­ting, re­new­ing old ac­quain­tances and en­joy­ing the at­ten­tion, the af­ter­noon passed swiftly for the guest of hon­our.

Irma (Gil­bert) Wood was born in Bish­op­ton, Que­bec, on De­cem­ber 2, 1913 and spent her grow­ing up years there. She loved school and wanted to be­come a lawyer but her fa­ther, Lt. Col. Levi Gil­bert, said, “Who ever heard of a woman be­com­ing a lawyer?” and that ended that. As a young woman, she met a hand­some man, Ivan Wood, who came to work at the lo­cal bank and the ro­mance started. But the bank had other ideas and Ivan was moved up north. With no Skype, cell phones or tex­ting avail­able, they courted the old-fash­ioned way, by let­ter. Irma still has all the let­ters he wrote her so many years ago in a small keep­sake box. But even­tu­ally, they got back to­gether, were mar­ried and had two sons, Robert and Richard. Ivan was sent to the bank in Ayer’s Cliff and when he left the bank, he did in­come taxes, sold bonds and he and his wife opened up “Wood’s Friendly Snack Bar” and they toiled long and hard.

After Ivan’s death in 1991, Irma re­mained in her own home on Rosedale Av­enue, drove her own car to do her er­rands and only gave that up in 2007. She hap­pily re­sides now in Place San­born.

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