Leap year birthday keeps Rose Lake couple hopping

Midge Smith, born in 1944, celebrates 19th birthday

Midge Smith (centre) celebrates a birthday with her children Craig Smith and Kendra Dixson. (Photo submitted)

Midge Smith (centre) celebrates a birthday with her children Craig Smith and Kendra Dixson. (Photo submitted)

A woman who celebrated her 19th birthday in the Cariboo last weekend said now that she is the legal age for drinking she will have to celebrate soon by going to a bar with family the next time she visits them in Kelowna.

Midge Smith of Rose Lake was born at 11 p.m. on Feb. 29, 1944 during an air raid in Henfield Sussex, England and as that was a leap year she technically only has a real birthday every four years.

She said her mom did try to hold on until March 1 to deliver.

“Growing up my parents always had a birthday celebration for me either on Feb. 28 or March 1, whichever worked out, but every four years I got an extra special one and would get a big present like a bike or luggage when I got older,” Smith told the Tribune.

Throughout the years, her birthdays usually had a theme. For her 10th birthday when she was actually 40 her friends showed up with everything a 10 year old might like, including an autograph album.

On her 15th birthday her son Craig Smith, who is a musician, and now lives in Kelowna, wrote and recorded a song outlining just how special his mom was.

It is titled, Happy Birthday Mary Jean, which was her name before she changed it to Midge, she said.

Some of the fun lines in the lyrics of the song are, ‘she got married and had children by the time she was seven,’ ‘it seems like yesterday you were only eight years younger than me,’ and ‘now I am almost twice your age.’

A retired nurse, Smith and her husband Tom, a retired provincial court judge, have lived at Rose Lake since 1974 in their log house in the woods. They also have a daughter, Kendra Dixson, who is an artist and lives in Kelowna.

Read more: Tom Smith’s aboard the Canada C3



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Midge Smith’s son, Craig Smith and daughter-in-law Mara Smith dressed for one of Midge’s birthday parties. (Photo submitted)

Midge Smith’s son, Craig Smith and daughter-in-law Mara Smith dressed for one of Midge’s birthday parties. (Photo submitted)

Midge Smith leads the bunny hop at one of her themed birthday parties. (Photo submitted)

Midge Smith leads the bunny hop at one of her themed birthday parties. (Photo submitted)

During her 16th Birthday Rock and Roll, come as you are when you were at 16, Midge’s husband Tom, gives her a birthday kiss.

During her 16th Birthday Rock and Roll, come as you are when you were at 16, Midge’s husband Tom, gives her a birthday kiss.

Some of the guests attending Midge Smith’s hippie-themed birthday party. (Photo submitted)

Some of the guests attending Midge Smith’s hippie-themed birthday party. (Photo submitted)