Marion woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family

Mar 6, 2022

One-hundred-year-old Beatrice Pires said she doesn’t have any secret to living a long, happy life, but she does have some advice.

“Everybody should be nice to one another,” Pires said in her home Sunday afternoon, decked out in beaded necklaces and a violet tracksuit. “If you have something, and you have a lot of it, don’t be selfish.”

Pires celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family on Sunday in her Wareham Road home in Marion.

She’s lived in the home since 1948, Pires said. The lifelong resident was born in Marion in 1922, after her mother traveled from the Cape Verde Islands to Massachusetts.

“All my children were born in this house,” said Pires, a mother of four daughters and two sons.

Pires’ children came to her home Sunday for their mother’s centennial birthday. One of her daughters mentioned that if Beatrice’s late husband, Lucien Pires Sr., was there, the couple would be celebrating their 81st wedding anniversary as well.

The woman was recognized last year by the Sippican Historical Society, which interviewed her as part of its ongoing Oral History Project.

As someone who’s lived in Marion her whole life, Pires has seen a lot of change over the past century.

She recalled the time when residents could buy six gallons of gas for a dollar, a high contrast from the current spikes in gas prices across the country. 

Pires remembers when electric cars ran from Marion to New Bedford, which cost about 50 cents for a roundtrip ticket. She remembers when Marion had a hotel and attached casino on South Street.

Mostly, she remembers her family.

“I went on the electric cars with my father to New Bedford,” she said. “And you know where the State Theater used to be? That used to be the public market.

“And we used to go all the way there for my father to go get spare ribs and different meats, because those days, there was no stores around here.”

Her husband was a commander at the Marion VFW Post #2425, she said, and he served in the Army. Lucien Pires Sr. cooked up a special recipe at the post’s chicken bakes, which the family reminisced about as they shared memories of their father, and Beatrice’s husband, in the living room.

Though much of her family was with her Sunday afternoon, Pires said they’re planning another celebration for the rest of her friends and family to visit when the weather warms up.

“We’ll have a cookout,” she said, “and they’ll all come.”