Local golfer celebrates 100th birthday in ancestral Norway

Posted 7/3/19

Five members of the Discovery Bay Women’s Golf Club had the honor of traveling to Norway during the first week of June to help celebrate the centennial birthday and Norwegian ancestry of one of their club members.

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Local golfer celebrates 100th birthday in ancestral Norway

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Five members of the Discovery Bay Women’s Golf Club had the honor of traveling to Norway during the first week of June to help celebrate the centennial birthday and Norwegian ancestry of one of their club members.

Patricia Burns turned 100 years old on June 3, 2019, and has always wanted to take a cruise along the Norwegian coast, so her family planned this trip for her.

“We were thrilled to be invited to come along,” said Dee Sweeney, who was joined by fellow club members Starla Audette, Ann Meier, Lynn Pierle and Diane Solie in accompanying Burns on her cruise. “Our trip to Norway would have been fun all by itself, but being part of Pat’s 100th birthday celebration, with 30 of her family and friends together on a seven-day cruise up the Norway coast, was way over-the-top magical!”

Sweeney recounted how Burns was “the star of the show” in Norway, wherever she went, even though the birthday girl had no wish to be the center of attention.

“In Bergen, we were in the middle of their town square, enjoying Bergen’s Marching Band, when the conductor suddenly singled Pat out of the crowd,” Sweeney said. “He asked her to come forward, handed her two Norwegian flags, and began playing the Norwegian national anthem for her.”

Bergen’s Lord Mayor Marte Mjos Persen even welcomed Bergen personally to Seattle’s sister city in Norway, while explaining that Bergen was also celebrating the band’s 100th birthday.

“Then the band played on while we all danced in the streets, with Pat in the lead,” Sweeney said.

Word about Burns apparently spread quickly, soon after she boarded Hurtigruten Cruises’ MS Richard With cruise ship, as the ship’s captain and crew treated her “like royalty,” in Sweeney’s estimation, and several passengers asked to pose with Burns for photos.

“Pat stayed up late with us playing Farkle inside the lounge, on deck 7 or enjoying the sites outside,” Sweeney said. “On her birthday, several of us joined her on a wild ride in a rigid inflatable boat that skirted the waters outside the town of Bodo!”

Burns and her traveling companions also basked in the “Midnight Sun” after crossing into the Arctic Circle, and visited Trollfjord in Nordland County, Norway.

“Not only did Pat stay up late with us, but she would often beat us to the breakfast table the next morning,” Sweeney said.

Burns is an active member of the Discovery Bay Women’s Golf Club, who plays once or twice a week with the gang.

“And yes, she still travels the world,” Sweeney said. “To say she’s active is putting it mildly.”

Besides golfing, Burns enjoys swimming in Mystery Bay, near her home in Nordland in Washington state, and she volunteers as a driver for the Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization, taking people to their medical appointments.

“Pat is an inspiration to so many, yet you would never hear her admit that was so,” Sweeney said. “We love her and wish her many more birthdays to come.”

The celebrations continued throughout the month of June, as the Discovery Bay Women’s Golf Club invited the Port Townsend Women’s Golf Club to play in a tournament June 20, to honor Burns’ birthday.

“Pat Burns was again the star of the day,” Sweeney said. “She won in a three-way tie for first place in her flight with Katherine Buchanan and Diane Solie, with each one scoring 6 points.”

Winners for the other flights were as follows:

• First flight: Sheila Kilmer with 10 points and Jane Guiltinan with 8 points.

• Second flight: Starla Audette with 11 points and Barbara Aldrich with 9 points.

• Third flight: Dee Sweeney with 9 points and Janet Nelson with 5 points.

After golf, the clubs shared a birthday celebration luncheon for Burns.

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