99-year-old N.B. veteran once served country, now serves baked goods
MIRAMICHI, N.B. -- Royal Canadian Air Force veteran Marian Arseneault survived the Second World War, and now finds herself in the middle of a global pandemic, less than a month shy of her 100th birthday.
But Marian is living proof that age is just a number.
“I don’t think about it until somebody mentions it,” says Marian from her home in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
“When we go to appointments and she has to show her birth certificate, we always get this reaction. They look down, they look up, they look at me and look down again, and they go ‘she’s walking! She’s here! That’s amazing!’,” laughs Marian’s daughter Cathy Arseneault.
Marian once served her country, now she serves up pies, cakes, cookies and bread for friends and loved ones.
“Every time we come over here she’s got something new baked, and she puts it in front of us and offers us to eat it, and wants us to eat it,” says Cathy.
Like all five of her siblings, Marian is a military veteran.
The New Brunswick native enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and was stationed in Halifax where she worked in air traffic control.
“When they flew over they had to call us, give the weather, and we’d tell them whether they could fly at 2000 or 4000 or how much other traffic was coming,” recalls Marian.
“She often speaks of being in Halifax in this so-called ‘war room’ and the secrecy and how she was selected to go ther,’ adds Cathy.
After the war, Marian moved to Kingston, Ontario to continue military related work.
Later she started her own Kindergarten program in her home in Miramichi, and also worked as a stenographer at the Miramichi Court House.
Now she spends her time in the kitchen, baking up a storm and keeping a smile on her face, as long as the oven is hot.
“We did it at home. Living in the country, there were eleven of us. You had to do it, you had to help,” recalls Marian of her love of baking.
After nearly a century, Marian still doesn’t miss a beat, or a recipe, and her fresh baked outlook on life leaves her more concerned about others than herself.