|Senators fan Hazel Stewart is delighted to receive a pink Senators jersey from Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson, a 105th birthday present for the resident of Longfields Manor (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club).
The way Hazel Stewart sees it, this was one Sens-ational birthday.
Surrounded by friends and family at Longfields Manor in Barrhaven, the Ottawa resident marked her 105th birthday in style today with cake, a visit from Spartacat and a surprise present that made her squeal with delight — a pink Senators jersey with her name and the number 105 emblazoned on the back.
"She loves her Senators," said Lynne Angus, Stewart's grand-daughter, who was on hand for the big occasion with her husband Don, daughter Kirsten and father John MacDonald. "I think that’s kept her going. She gets pretty excited (about the team)."
Stewart was born in 1906, when the Ottawa Silver Seven were winning Stanley Cups and ruling the hockey world. A native of Lachute, Que., the former school teacher remembers watching hockey games with her family back then.
"I used to go to some of the games," she said. "Then there was a little lapse and now it’s back again."
It's pretty clear her passion for the game is as strong as ever.
"She listens to all the games on the radio," said Angus. "She gets mad when they try to put her to bed before the games are over. She's the last one to bed (at the manor), especially during hockey season."
Hockey and the Senators, it might be said, remain one of the great joys of her life.
"I sure follow (the Senators)," said Stewart, clad in the pink Senators jersey delivered to her by Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson. "It’s something to look forward to all the time. I’ve enjoyed it."
And there's no doubt who's her favourite player on the team.
"(Daniel) Alfredsson is her gem," Angus said of the Senators captain.
But no matter who plays for the team, Stewart will stick with them through thick and thin.
"I’ll always stand by them," she said. "The way I look at it, they know what they’re doing and I hope for the best."