Vera’s story

Photo: Vera Abercrombie and daughter

No credit

By Emma Tibbo


Ninety-three-year-old Vera Abercrombie is a resident of the Glebe Centre and is very excited to share her story.

Her father travelled from Manotick, Ontario to Saskatchewan in 1905, settling on a farm in Unity. Vera was born in 1931, and her childhood was filled with climbing trees and doing chores such as feeding chickens and raising prize-worthy pigs. She also developed a great aim playing a game with her brother of shooting down gopher holes. After completing high school, she went to Winnipeg to train as a nurse and came home to work in the rural hospital in Unity. She also spent time in a Victoria, B.C. military hospital where she treated many of the young men returning from their tours in Italy during the Second World War.

She met her husband, who was a member of the Officer Training Corps, at a local roller-skating rink in Victoria. They moved to Kingston where he pursued his studies at Queen’s University before finally settling in Ottawa where they raised their two daughters.

Upon his retirement after 30 years with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, they spent quality time together and enjoyed car rides in the country where they stopped at restaurants and cafés for lunch. While her husband was involved in the local bowling league, Vera enjoyed quilting at Southminster United Church and volunteering at various fundraising events. Vera’s husband suffered from Alzheimer’s and spent his last 10 years under the care of the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre before being laid to rest in the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood. Vera also lived at the Perley Rideau independent living until she fell seriously ill. Displaying the tenacity and determination for which she is known, she regained her strength and came to join the Glebe Centre family.

Vera is an avid reader and enjoys completing puzzles as well as participating in the other activities offered at the Glebe Centre. In addition to enjoying the more sedate aspects of life, Vera also likes to get active. This includes taking part in the Bike Around program which reminds her of the sunny days riding her bicycle in Unity. The Glebe Centre uses a special bike to help residents explore their hometowns and countries they’ve travelled to without leaving the building. Vera also biked around the Glebe Centre itself, a huge accomplishment for which she earned a medal.

Her loving daughter visits often and in the warmer weather, they sit and chat on the outside patio or go to Kelly’s Landing and sit by the river eating ice cream. Vera loves her ice cream. You can always find Vera surrounded by pictures of her large extended family that includes grand- and great-grandchildren who keep her busy. She truly is living her best life.


Emma Tibbo is executive director of the Glebe Centre.

Share this