Cen­ten­nial honours two lo­cal cen­te­nar­i­ans


Two of Swift Cur­rent’s cen­te­nar­i­ans were hon­oured on Sun­day with a short cer­e­mony and tea at the Swift Cur­rent mu­seum.

Ida Brekken and Ann Robins were each pre­sented with a spe­cial cer­tifi­cate by Mayor Jer­rod Schafer hon­our­ing their achieve­ments.

“I tell you, a feel like a queen,” Robins joked af­ter­wards. “My name is Ann, so I’m call­ing my­self Queen Ann.”

“It feels pretty good,” Brekken said af­ter re­ceiv­ing her cer­tifi­cate. “It’s re­ally won­der­ful.”

The Swift Cur­rent Cen­ten­nial Com­mit­tee was be­hind the idea to hon­our the area’s cen­te­nar­i­ans. Com­mit­tee co-chair Dave Spencer said it seemed like a nat­u­ral way to rec­og­nize the city’s his­tory.

“When you start to think of 100 years, you know you have 100 years as a com­mu­nity, but then you start to think ‘are there in­di­vid­u­als in this com­mu­nity who are 100 years (old),” Spencer said af­ter the cer­e­mony.

“The city

staff who

Cen­te­nar­i­ans Ida Brekken (left) and Ann Robins (right) pose for a photo dur­ing a re­cep­tion at the Swift Cur­rent Mu­seum. worked on this were able to iden­tify a num­ber of (them).”

While both ladies are from the area they had never me be­fore to­day, al­though they did take dif­fer­ent paths to get where they are. Brekken has lived in the Swift Cur­rent area for most of her life, while Robins, who grew up near Pon­teix, left the area with her hus­band dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion. She re­turned a few years ago.

Un­sur­pris­ingly how­ever, they’ve both seen sim­i­lar changes over the last 100 years.

“You can press a but­ton now and do things we had to work hard for,” Brekken said. “There was a lot of work (to do) when we were born.”

“There’s no com­par­i­son from 100 years ago to to­day,” Robins agreed. “It’s hard to imag­ine that it ever hap­pened, (con­sid­er­ing) the things that can be done to­day. When my dad started to farm they farmed with four oxen, and now they farm with a huge trac­tor.”

As the years con­tinue to roll by, each cen­te­nar­ian main­tains a pos­i­tive out­look about life. They en­joy liv­ing in the area, and, when asked if they had any ad­vice, were quick to en­cour­age young people to work hard and be thank­ful for what they have.

It’s an un­sur­pris­ing but im­por­tant re­minder from two people who came of age dur­ing the height of the De­pres­sion.

“I’d just say ap­pre­ci­ate what you’ve got,” Robins said. “Be kind to people and be thank­ful for ev­ery­thing you get.”

“I too think you should be kind to people,” Brekken agreed. “Try to help all you can.”

Or­ga­niz­ers say they are un­sure about the num­ber of cen­te­nar­i­ans in the area, but know there are at least six who are al­ready 100 or over. They say two more lo­cal res­i­dents will turn 100 be­fore the year ends.

Or­ga­niz­ers in­vited sev­eral cen­te­nar­i­ans to the event, but only two ac­cepted.

Booster photo by

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