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Family celebrates as Peggy Harp turns 106

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

Margaret 'Peggy' Harp (FAMILY PHOTO)

Margaret 'Peggy' Harp (FAMILY PHOTO)

NORTHUMBERLAND -- The Harp family has enjoyed a quiet celebration in Port Hope in honour of matriarch Margaret's 106th birthday.

Known to most people as Peggy, she and her late husband Ed were most widely known as the operators of the Motor Vehicles and Drivers Licence office from a small building on Charles Street in Cobourg for many years.

Her daughter Beverley Hergott was proud to provide some details about her mother, who was born in Belleville on Oct. 10, 1911, and trained as a registered dietitian.

The family originally came from Ireland, Hergott said, when Harp's grandfather wanted to escape the potato famine. He came to Belleville where he set up a harness shop.

After Harp's father died in the Spanish Flu epidemic, her mother opened the first hairdressing salon in Belleville.

"To this day, getting her hair done, has been a life-time routine delight," Hergott said.

Ed and Peggy Harp moved their family to Cobourg in 1949, the year Newfoundland joined Canada, and took over the Charles Street office (Hergott noted that her father was also a justice of the peace).

The family included six children, two of whom predeceased their mother. Russell lives in London, Ont., and the rest in Cobourg -- Hergott and her brother Rodger are both retired teachers, and Ted operates the State Farm Insurance office.

The family now includes 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.

The most important thing to her mother, Hergott said, is her family.