The Milne sisters — who may be the oldest siblings in Manitoba living under one roof — got along so well three of them married into the same family.
There must have been something about those Templeton boys from Basswood.
Margaret was the first, tying the knot with Hugh.
Then Gertie married Tom and Olive found love with Bob.
"That was funny, wasn’t it?" Margaret said aloud.
Florence, the "baby" of the sisters, missed out — the four Templeton brothers were already taken.
"Dad said, ‘Thank gosh there’s no more,’" she said to laughter from gathered family.
Decades later, the Milne sisters, originally of Newdale, are still close — by blood, marriage and now through housing.
They each live at Fairview Personal Care Home in Brandon.
Their names are Margaret Templeton, 98, Gertie Templeton, 95, Olive Templeton, 93, and Florence Brown, 87.
Staff at the PCH believe there isn’t a senior centre in the province taking care of as many as four siblings. The provincial government does not keep track.
Though the Milne sisters have the same address again, they live on separate floors.
"It’s so we can’t fight," quipped Olive, who this month became the last of the sisters to move in.
The Milnes haven’t lived in the same place since they were children in Newdale.
As girls, the sisters were musically inclined, and say they weren’t too much for their parents to handle.
They remained close throughout their lives.
Margaret was a housewife. She and her husband spent time in Sudbury, Ont., Newdale and then Basswood, the latter where they spent much of their lives farming. They managed the community general store for some time.
Gertie was a teacher. Her family settled in Holland, where they ran a butcher shop.
Olive was a teacher, too. Her family lived and farmed in Basswood.
Florence was a housewife. She worked at a bank before tying the knot with her husband, farming together south of Brandon.
Some of the sisters moved around, but by and large, remained in Westman.
Their husbands have since passed away, and none of them remarried.
And here’s another coincidence the four sisters share: they each gave birth to one son and one daughter.
The women’s oldest sister, Elsie Wilson — who had three children, and happened to not marry a Templeton — would have now been 100 years old. She passed away seven years ago.
All five of the Milne girls then must have some secret to longevity.
"Good food, good health," Margaret said. "And good home life."
"Eat good," Olive answered.
"Exercise," Gertie added.
It helped the women that they always had each other.
"We shared everything with each other," Gertie said.
Gathered at the first floor of the PCH, the Milne sisters were joined by two of their children to help with answering questions, Linda Creighton, Florence’s daughter, and Sandra Kingdon, Margaret’s daughter.
They are grateful their mothers still have each other.
"This is probably the best thing for them," said Creighton, who lives in Brandon.
In some respects, their mother’s lives have come full circle.
"This is the finish," said Kingdon, who resides in Alberta. "Everybody is finally back together, like a bunch of girls hanging out."
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