Victoria fishing club founder celebrates her 100th birthday

Victoria fishing club founder celebrates her 100th birthday

Helen Wells has lived in Victoria for most of her life

A long-time Victoria resident is celebrating her 100th birthday surrounded by fellow members of the Golden Rods and Reels salmon fishing club.

Helen Wells and her late husband helped found the club, which has been around for 42 years.

Just days before her big 1-0-0 she sat with dozens of friends to celebrate at a Golden Rods and Reels luncheon.

“It’s a social club, it’s wonderful,” Wells said, adding that she doesn’t fish any more. “Everyone here is so friendly.”

Wells was born on Feb. 8, 1920 in Vanguard, Sask., the second child born in the village’s new hospital. She grew up in the village and then moved to Regina where she got a secretarial training diploma before working for several different co-ops around the province.

ALSO READ: Province’s oldest lawyer shares advice for living well at her 100th birthday party

Later on, her parents retired to Victoria and Wells came to visit, and never left. In Victoria she worked for the federal government in a department that used to issue what was known as a “baby allowance” of $5 per month. She met her husband in Victoria, and they got married when she was 29 and had two daughters, Callie and Bonna.

Together the family travelled across the Pacific Northwest in their trailer to enjoy the great outdoors.

Wells and her family loved fishing and helped found the Golden Rods and Reels in 1977.

“I think we should all be really glad that Helen is here today and nearing 100 years,” said Sandy McElroy, Golden Rods and Reels member, at Wells’ luncheon. “You can hear by all the laughter and fun that she helped found a really good group. I was thinking that over the years there’s hundreds, perhaps thousands of people that have come together because of the group she helped start.”

ALSO READ: ‘It just happened’– B.C. woman celebrates her 100th birthday

Now a centenarian, Wells said she doesn’t feel much different from other birthdays. She still keeps active, goes for walks, attends exercise classes and gardens, as well as goes to the Cedar Hill Rec Centre once per week to play Canasta.

She said she doesn’t really take vitamins or medications; “I’m not into pills.”

Her secret to vitality?

“Keep interested in all that’s going on, and keep looking forward to what’s ahead, and keep a smile on,” she said. “Enjoy life, enjoy it all. That’s all I can say.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Senior birthday card

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Ellis, 93, and her Shih Tzu, Zoey, have been clients of ElderDog Victoria since last summer. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria ElderDog program seeking more seniors, pups to support

Service helps elderly people to care for their canine companions

Mona Strelaeff, a Metchosin resident, is the first non-terminally ill person in Canada to be allowed to use psilocybin assisted therapy. (Provided by Spencer Hawkswell)
Metchosin woman’s trauma treatment could be trendsetting

Experts say this could signal the broadening of who can access psilocybin therapy

Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop is changing owners with longtime owner Odean Long transferring ownership Dec. 1 to William Matthews. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Longtime owner of Sidney’s Haunted Bookshop closes chapter with sale

Odean Long and her late husband moved the business to Sidney in 1996

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

Oak Bay police were searching for two men caught on camera dumping garbage bags on the side of Brighton Avenue on Nov. 26. (Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATED: No charges pursued after police identify suspects in littering incident on Oak Bay street

Garbage bags left on side of Brighton Avenue won’t lead to $81 ticket

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read