It was fitting that piano music was in full swing at Augustine House last Thursday afternoon given who and what they were celebrating.
Family and friends were on hand to toast Ila Lundy who will be turning 105 years old on Aug. 27.
In attendance was her daughter Marlaine, son-in-law David, granddaughters Maureen and Laura, and great granddaughters Caroline and Vivian. Her son Burke could not attend.
Ila is a remarkable woman full of life and sharp as a tack when the Optimist sat down with her for a chat.
Ila was born and raised in Vancouver, but frequently came to South Delta with her family to visit her grandparents. Her grandfather was an architect who built several of the big, stately homes that still exist in Delta.
She considered South Delta her second home.
She was good friends with the late Edgar Dunning, whose family started the Optimist in 1922. Their paths crossed several times since their teens up until his passing in 2010.
“I had supper with him and a group of friends the night before he died,” she said. “We also were together many times at the former music hall in Ladner. We had a lot of fun when we were young.”
At a young age Ila had a gift for playing the piano by ear.
“I started my first band when I was 17,” she said. “We played all over the place. When you’re 17 and you are up on stage and people are dancing, it’s an incredible feeling.”
Ila and Beldon Lundy met when they were 17 and they were very happily married until his passing at age 61. He worked for BC Hydro for 41 years. Beldon learned to play the sax just so he could travel with his wife and play in the band.
She moved to Augustine House in 2015. She said she loves living in the Arthur Drive building and has met some great friends.
“Augustine House is just a wonderful place. If you are going to go anywhere for an old age place, I would say this is way above anything else and there are very nice people here,” she said.
As to her years of longevity, Ila said, “I didn’t drink Coca-Cola, I didn’t drink alcohol, I didn’t smoke and I guess that’s all. I try to eat carefully. I guess that’s it. I just took care of myself and I love my family and friends.”