Happy Birthday, Effie Côté 

Leah Curley 

On Sunday, July 3rd, Effie Côté and her family will gather at the Knowlton Golf Club for a private luncheon in celebration of her centennial birthday, an occasion marking the one-hundredth year of a life well and fully lived. And if you know Effie, you know she’s still going strong, living independently in her condo, and enjoying herself with family and friends. 

Effie hails from the tiny Townships community of Ascot Corner. She studied at O’Sullivan College in Sherbrooke, found work with an insurance broker, and began volunteering with the Women’s Catholic League to provide hot meals and entertainment for soldiers during World War II. With peacetime, she married husband Gerry and began a family that would balloon to six children. Remarkable passion and energy Family and volunteerism quickly became the guiding principles in Effie’s life, and she has dedicated herself to both with remarkable passion and energy. Those close to her are quick to say that no moth- er is prouder of, or more devoted, to her children. 

Raising a large family would be enough to keep most women busy, but Effie still found the time to volunteer with the Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital while living in St-Bruno. Relocating to the Townships in the early 1980s, she joined the BMP Hospital Auxiliary, served on the BMP Hospital Board of Directors from 1982 to 1984, received the International Women’s Day Award from the Yamaska Valley Optimist Club in 2008, and was named BMP Hospital Volunteer of the Year in 2009. More recently, her dedication to the BMP across more than 30 years inspired the Mrs. Effie Margaret Côté Scholarship, which provides $10,000 toward university level education for a nursing student or healthcare worker. And all along the way, this remarkable woman also found time for the Butters Foundation, the Wellness Volunteer Centre and more.

What’s her secret?
Friends describe Effie Côté as ‘a wonderful person, courageous and loving’… ‘always positive, always kind and generous with herself and her time’… ‘bright, alert and very with it’… ‘amazing!’ She is all that – and a fierce mah-jong player, too. 

Five of Effie’s children are still living and will attend her birthday party, along with more than a dozen grandchildren and great grand-children. We join them in wishing Effie a very happy birthday.