Amherstview woman turns 100
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Amherstview is about to have another centenarian.

Ethel Geraldine (Gerry) Brunton of Amherstview Retirement Lodge turns 100 on Dec. 23.

“I feel great!” the lively woman exclaims with a smile.

Born at the Women’s College Hospital (WCH) in Toronto on Dec. 23, 1919, Gerry and her late twin sister, Margaret Irene, were the first set of twins to be born that day despite a woman in labour (with twin boys) in the same ward.

According to Diane Brown, daughter of the late Margaret Irene and niece of Gerry, the hospital holds many special memories for their family. The two sisters often shared stories of their birth including their favourite story (passed down from their mother) how Gerry and Margaret Irene had ‘beat the boys’.

At that time, WCH was in a residential house at 125 Rusholme Road with a staff of 19 female doctors and a small contingent of nurses.     

Records from the archives show that in 1919, the hospital admitted 985 inpatients and recorded more than 1,100 visits to its outpatient clinic. While most patients were admitted for surgical procedures, expectant mothers composed the next largest category of patients.


Under the leadership of the WCH’s Chief of Obstetrics, Dr. Rowena Hume, the bustling obstetrical department had two staff obstetricians. Throughout that year, three doctors delivered 248 babies—almost 100 babies more than the previous year. This dramatic increase in births spurred the opening of a new four-story hospital wing in November 1918 which allowed for an increased capacity of inpatients to 50 adults and 25 babies.

100 years later, Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge is pleased to celebrate Gerry’s birthday.

 “Gerry is a longstanding resident here,” says Lodge Manager Audrey Young. “She has a great outlook on life. Her energy is outstanding.”

“Gerry brightens everyone’s day. Her energy is infectious,” agrees Administrator Lisa Gibson. “You wouldn’t know she’s 100 because she’s always looking-out for the best interests of others and making sure everyone else is having a good day. She exemplifies how you can live to 100 with a great quality of life.”

Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge is delighted to wish Gerry Brunton a Happy 100th Birthday. The Women’s College Hospital Foundation also extends a heartfelt ‘Happy Birthday’ to Gerry on this very special milestone. To learn more about living or working in our home, please visit call 613-384-4585 ext. 251.

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