A gathering of upwards of 40 relatives, including children, in-laws and grandchildren gathered on Sunday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Benson Merritt to honour Mrs. Valmer Merritt on the occasion of her 90th birthday anniversary.
Mrs. Merritt, formerly Mahala Smith, is a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Smith, United Empire Loyalists, of Mount Hope, and the last survivor of a family of 11. At the age of 23 she married Valmer Merritt, of Caistor. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Merritt settled in Caistor on the farm where Mrs. Merritt and her son, Orton, still reside, a beautiful home near Ker church, of which she is a valued member.
To this esteemed couple were born 10 children. Left a widow 44 years ago, with the youngest child still an infant, Mrs. Merritt, with the help of the older members of her family, met the battles of life, kept her home, raised her family, and kept them about her in their early years, showing a remarkable business acumen.
Six children are living, a son, Stanley, having made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War of 1914-18. They are: Mrs. Curtis Swayze, Caledonia; Benson and Orton, of Caistor; Ethelbert, John and Frank, of Grimsby. There are 17 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.