Agatha Schroeder is 102 and still going strong.
Celebrating the milestone last Sunday, the Scarborough resident – guided by faith most of her life – blessed the food, family and friends to kick off her party.
It wasn’t surprising as she is still mentally active and articulate.
Born in the rural Guyanese village of Pouderoyen on the West Bank of Demerara, Schroeder grew up in Georgetown before migrating to the Greater Toronto Area nearly four decades ago.
“She was a seamstress and dressmaker who designed a lot of bridal gowns,” said her daughter, Jennifer Schroeder. “When she came here, she switched to nursing which was something new for her.”
At age 65, Schroeder enrolled in a two-year nursing program at Centennial College and, after graduation, worked in several short-term care facilities up until age 72.
Schroeder is the only active member who was around when the Senior Guyanese Association was formed 42 years ago. The seniors meet for four hours every Saturday from March to November to play games, share memories and enjoy some snacks.
“She enjoys socializing and interacting with people,” said her daughter.
The widow, whose husband died just over a decade ago from diabetes complications, has seven children, the majority of them in Canada. They are Una, Jennifer, George, Cleland and Eon Schroeder, who live in the Greater Toronto Area, while Maureen Thomas and Deryck Schroeder are in Illinois and Guyana, respectively.
The centenarian also has 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandkids.