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Fort Macleod’s Marion Swinarton celebrates 105 years of life

marion swinarton

Marion Swinarton came to Fort Macleod in 1929 and has lived here ever since.

On March 21, Marion Swinarton, a long-time resident of Fort Macleod, celebrated her 105th birthday with residents and many visitors at Fort Macleod Extendicare.
To add to the special occasion, Donna Richard, Worthy Grand Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, presented Marion with her 70-year certificate and jewel on behalf of the Grand Chapter of Alberta and Maple Leaf Chapter in Lethbridge.
Marion Swinarton was born in March 1910 in Poole, England. Her parents, William and Anna Taylor immigrated to Canada when Marion was just one year of age along with her older sister Gwen via steamship in 1911.
The family originally settled in Medicine Hat and later moved to Calgary, Marion has many wonderful memories of growing up in Ogden. She had one brother George who she speaks of fondly and her utmost love and respect for her parents always saying, “They were the best parents” children could have ever had. Marion knows how challenging life was for them through the years of the Great War and the flu pandemic of 1918. She tells of her memories of attending Sunday School and her walks to the public library where her lifelong love of reading began.
Marion met Charles Sydney Reach while attending business college in Calgary. They married in 1929 and Charles brought Marion to his hometown as his father had recently passed and he was taking over managing the family business, Reach and Co.
Marion remembers her mother-in-law, Jennie Reach as a strong and courageous women who was her support during those early years of marriage. Mrs. Jennie Reach encouraged Marion to learn to play bridge and get involved with organizations that supported their community of Fort Macleod.
Charles and Marion raised two sons Charles and Robert. Marion’s husband Charles passed away in 1954, and Marion kept busy with the organizations she belonged to and took a stronger presence in the store doing more of the bookkeeping.
In 1962 she married Albert Swinarton, together they enjoyed traveling and hosting dignitaries in their home such as the Governor General, Roland Michener and Pierre Burton during Fort Macleod’s Centennial year.
Marion has been a member of Trinity United Church since her arrival to Fort Macleod. She helped to organize the Ladies Broomball Club which years after when they were through with running around turned it into a bridge group. Marion was a keen and very sharp player and enjoyed playing for more than 75 years. Many times when she spoke of winning her take was a whole dime.
Marion is a lifetime member of the Fort Macleod Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the Lewis Auxiliary and the Eastern Star. She enjoyed curling and golfing and had a hole in one on Fort Macleod’s Golf Course.
Marion’s attitude has always been the concern for others, her family, her community and to support those in need.

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