She’s celebrating 100 years on this planet later this month, but it’s a bit of a miracle that Joyce Jupp is even here at all.
The Nakusp woman’s father, James Butlin, decided to come to Canada from England in 1912. He tried to book a passage on a ship but it was full. He travelled on another ship and only when he got to Canada did he hear the fate of the original ship — named the Titanic. (Fate having smiled on him, he lived to 107.)
He returned to England to fight in the First World War. He got married, and moved with his new family to Canada in 1922. They settled in Fort Steele and then in 1928 moved to Nakusp.
As a teenager in the Great Depression, Jupp remembers listening to old radio broadcasts and keeping up with fashion, music, and the news of the day.
Local dances were the social place to be then, and Jupp and her friends went dancing in Silverton, New Denver, Nakusp, Burton or Brouse. Joyce practiced her piano lessons almost daily, but like any teenager, she was also enticed by the new products for sale – nylon stocking, sunglasses, makeup and other “stylish items.”
When she decided to become a teacher she moved to Cranbrook to take Grade 13. On completion in 1938 Joyce came back, and with her family moved to New Denver. In the fall she started her two years of teacher training at the Victoria Normal School. In 1939 Jupp graduated and started to teach that fall. She taught in a one-room school in Glenbank and in New Denver.
In 1943 she married Bill Jupp and moved back to Nakusp where Bill had a men’s clothing store. However, she was not a stay-at-home wife for long, and soon was working at another small school in the Box Lake area. She recalls feeling “quite out of it socially” because all her friends were going to teas, bridge parties and walking their children while she worked.
After three years she stopped teaching and in 1946 their son Gary was born, followed in 1949 by daughter Eleanor.
In 1951 they moved into a new home which Jupp still has today. In 1957 a second daughter, Jennifer, was born. Around this time Jupp decided to continue her neglected piano lessons. Her teacher encouraged her to take some students. For the next 15 years while studying and practicing herself, she had approximately 20 piano and theory pupils.
In 1967 Bill retired and Joyce returned to teaching. She spent the next 14 years teaching in Nakusp and area.
Their children had married and grandchildren were arriving. Whenever possible they travelled to visit family.
Joyce retired from teaching in 1981 but continued to be active by volunteering in the community. She joined the local seniors’ association and acted as their treasurer for years.
Joyce also continued to keep books and play the organ for St. Mark’s Anglican Church services, and numerous weddings and funerals. She also played for the Eastern Star for years. She volunteered at the library and for the cancer society. She loved to socialize with friend by playing bridge, a passion for her in her retirement years.
In 1998, life threw a curve ball when Bill passed away suddenly. Joyce continued on alone.
In 2003, she was chosen as Nakusp’s Citizen of the Year, an honour she deeply cherishes.
In 2006, Joyce surprised her family and married again. Charlie Horrey had been best friends with her husband, and was the best man at Bill’s and Joyce’s wedding. The couple shared four years of happiness before Horrey passed quite suddenly.
Joyce Jupp has touched many lives on her 100-year journey. As a teacher she inspired students to learn and to dream. As a volunteer she worked constantly to better her community. Stoic and courageous facing life’s burdens, she has somehow found the strength deep inside to find new happiness in friends, family and community.