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Publication: Times&Transcript, Moncton, NB
Issue: 30 March 2010 pD4
Title: Peakes' blast survivor marks 100th birthday
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Peakes' blast survivor marks 100th birthday
Published Tuesday March 30th, 2010
Elizabeth Budd of Moncton survived the Peakes clothing store explosion.
Only a teenager at the time, Elizabeth was working in the front window of the Main Street store when the blast occurred. The force sent her flying out onto the street. Miraculously. she suffered only broken ribs. She recalls all these many years later what she believes caused the explosion.
"I think it was the furnace," she says. "They had turned the furnace off and then they went out, and then they came back and forgot to turn it on."
Luckily all went well with the lighting of the candles on her 100th birthday cake on March 27 and, although those candles have been extinguished, this effervescent senior shines on.
Born at home in Moncton to Scottish immigrant parents James and Mary (Scott) Hampton, Elizabeth had an older brother Daniel who lived to be 95.
A second brother, Robert, passed away before his first birthday.
Growing up, Elizabeth was very athletic. She did well in speed skating -- sharing the sport with the likes of Harry Smythe, a well-known speed skater in the hub city.
During her mid-adult years she was also quite a curler, belonging to both the Beaver and Beausejour Curling Clubs. On one occasion she was the runner-up in a mixed curling championship. Elizabeth is still a faithful fan of the sport, enjoying with great relish, recent Olympic action.
She also enjoys a good game of bridge, and a scarcity of players at the Golden Years Estate where she now lives doesn't stop her from playing. She simply plays bridge online!
Elizabeth left home in her early 20s to be married, and is very close to her only child, Jean. She also has three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Originally a full-time homemaker, during the war Elizabeth worked at Peoples Credit Jewellers (now Peoples Jewellers), and after the war at the federal government's Unemployment Insurance office.
During the Second World War, she recalls the population of Moncton doubling, with training centres and the like here. There were plenty of social gatherings -- including many formal dances.
People's Park Tower was Elizabeth's home for 29 years, and it was while she was a resident there that tickets were sold on some of her beautiful oil paintings. Most of her art though became gifts to family. There were painting lessons along the way, as well.
Church has also played an important role in her life.
There are now mobility issues since breaking a leg that sees her confined to a wheelchair. Once an avid reader, she usually polished off three or four books a week. There was travel too, including to the Barbados, and visits to Montreal and Ontario where Jean (Neilson) and her family lived until returning to this area upon the retirement of Jean's husband, John.
Bingo, church services, bridge and the company of family and friends are highlights for Elizabeth Budd now, as this delightful centenarian continues to brighten the lives of all who know her.