Meet Fredericton's newest 'keeper of the cane,' awarded to city's oldest resident

The Silver-Headed Cane is presented to Fredericton's oldest resident by the local Kiwanis Club.

She many not look it, but Julia Estey is 104 years old and is now the 'keeper of the cane.'

"I just think about going and going, and visiting people and all they'd say," Estey said.

Her daughter, Vera Irion, says Estey is always up for an outing.

"If I want to go I go down and say mom I'm going, it could be a store it could be my sister's or my children, and she's ready to go," Irion said.

Last month Estey received some extra attention.

"We put out a call for the next guardian of the cane, and Julia was nominated and verified as being the oldest living resident and so we had a little celebration," said Mike Ross, president of the Fredericton Kiwanis Club, which presented her with the Silver-Headed Cane in recognition and she's just the second owner.

Julia is always surrounded by loved ones -- and there are lots. She has 10 kids, 23 grandkids, 43 great grandkids, and even several great-great-great grandkids.

She's lived through plenty of global changes too.

"We quarantined for diphtheria, you know what that is?" Estey said. "That's when your throat swells and is full and then the other one was polio."

These days, she spends her days playing cards with her nearly 86-year-old daughter Vera who she lives with.

"And I've been playing Skip-Bo, of course, I've played that every night," Estey said.

Vera says it's been a staple during the pandemic and they've played about three games a night. She estimates they've actually played at least 1,500 games of cards, but wouldn't tell how many her 104-year-old mom has won.