Mary Bugden of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s turns 100 on Wednesday. She now lives in Topsail. — Submitted photo
A woman who operated multiple convenience stores in the St. John’s metro area, and who was involved in the first call St. John Ambulance responded to in the city, will celebrate a milestone birthday on Regatta Day.
Mary Ann Bugden, born Mary Miller, will turn 100 years old on Wednesday. Born in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s on Aug. 7, 1913, Bugden will celebrate her milestone birthday with family and friends.
“It don’t feel any different,” she said when asked how it feels to be turning 100.
She married James Bugden in 1940 and the couple raised five children. Bugden ran a convenience store in the community during an era where the nearest store was otherwise located on Kings Bridge Road in St. John’s.
The family later moved to
St. John’s, where Bugden operated another convenience store.
She recalls her experience taking part in the first call St. John Ambulance responded to in the early 1950s. She was a volunteer with the group at that time and claims to be the first person to take a St. John Ambulance vehicle on duty in the city. A six-year-old boy fell in a river at Bowring Park. Unfortunately, the boy did not survive. Bugden said she believes the boy was a Greeley.
Retired now for 40 years, Bugden was still knitting and crocheting as recently as two years ago until issues with her vision prevented her from doing so. She still gardens a bit, having planted peas this year. She has lived at Meadow Creek Seniors Home in Topsail for the past nine months.
While Bugden said she was not initially interested in making much of a fuss about reaching triple digits, she looks forward to seeing familiar faces at her birthday party.