There was no golf clapping for Eva Eckert on the green Thursday.
Instead, friends and family gathered on the Regina Beach Golf Course to sing loudly and shoot off fireworks as the 100-year-old teed off on her birthday.
“I was just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all the people that are out here,” she said.
Eckert started golfing at the age of 72, when she moved with her husband to the Kinookimaw Beach community just north of Regina.
“When I came out here, there wasn’t much else to do so I joined the (golf) club and it was always good,” she said.
Eckert would spend Wednesdays playing with other members of the Regina Beach Ladies Golf Club, many of whom were at the course to celebrate the milestone birthday.
“I always found her to be full of humour,” said 87-year-old Lucille Meaney, who often golfed with Eckert.
“She didn’t take golf seriously, and she couldn’t when she golfed with me, so it was always just a fun time.”
Eckert stopped golfing regularly at the age of 95, after which her son Murray began the birthday tee-off tradition.
“Our birthdays are pretty close together — mine’s on Saturday and I’ll be 64 — and we kind of like to celebrate them like a Ukrainian wedding and go for about four or five days straight,” he said.
Eckert grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, and recalled how her family planted potatoes because locusts destroyed anything above ground.
“This was the dirty ’30s, you have to remember. And I was born in the middle of a cyclone,” she said, adding that her farm roots are likely the key to her longevity.
“We didn’t have anything that was processed, you know, everything was grown on the farm — pigs, which I didn’t like, calves, turkeys, chickens, everything.”
At the age of 24, Eckert moved to the town of Carlyle, Sask., where she worked as a cashier and was an active curler.
Her husband, Arthur, served in the Second World War with the Regina Rifles, where his tour of duty took him through England, Belgium, Holland, France and Germany.
The couple and their two children moved to Regina in 1972, where they lived until Arthur retired in 1991 and they moved to Kinookimaw Beach.
According to an obituary, Arthur passed away on Aug. 4, 2005.
Eckert said she will celebrate her milestone birthday with her two children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
As for any advice on reaching 100, Eckert simply said she’s fortunate.
“I have good genes,” she laughed. “I enjoyed it. I really have enjoyed my life.”