The gang’s all here. Family members gather for the momentous occasion of zip lining for Marjorie Coakwell’s 85th birthday. The littlest member of the group is six-month-old Braelynn Smith. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus senior turns heads by turning 85 on a zip line

High-flying adventure on the priority list for birthday celebration

The idea of sitting around for her 85th birthday simply didn’t cut it for Marjorie Coakwell of Chemainus.

She decided a high-flying adventure was more the order of the day, of course, and so she headed to Wild Play Element Parks in Nanaimo with her family to mark the occasion in style by doing some zip lining.

No one had to twist Coakwell’s arm to do it. She was at the front of the line ready for action.

“My son was a little surprised,” she said of her preferred birthday experience. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do.

“I’m so excited about this, really I am,” Coakwell added in advance of the big event.

So how did she feel after all was said and done? Obviously, she was hooked.

“It was fantastic. It was a blast,” Coakwell enthused.

The time seemed to pass very quickly for her in hindsight and she wanted to enjoy every moment.

“It was never long enough,” Coakwell confided. “A big beautiful eagle flew over when I was on the line.”

A native of Newfoundland, she moved to Chemainus with her husband in May of 2012 from Ontario. Coakwell’s husband died a year and a half ago and granddaughter Alyssa White could only marvel about her enthusiasm.

“I think she’s definitely trying to keep herself busy,” said White.

On the other hand, Coakwell is making the most of her opportunities to dispel any myths about the typical octogenarian these days.

“She’s definitely always wanting to do stuff like that,” White indicated. “She’s wild and crazy. She’s not one to sit at home and do typical elderly things.

“She’s pretty fortunate, too, because she’s so healthy and everything.”

The age span for the rare family gathering ranged down to six-month-old Braelynn Smith, White’s daughter, who was there to see her great grandmother perform the amazing feat, even though she might not remember it years later.

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Majorie Coakwell of Chemainus definitely puts the zip into zip lining during her 85th birthday at the Wild Play Element Parks in Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)

There’s no turning back and Marjorie Coakwell has no intention of doing that during her 85th birthday ziplining adventure. (Photo submitted)

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