Bertha Higgs, mother of New Brunswick premier, dies at 100

Bertha Higgs, Premier Blaine Higgs’s mother, has died almost a month after her 100th birthday.

Louis Léger, the premier’s chief of staff, tweeted that Bertha Higgs died Monday morning.

“We all join in expressing our condolences to the Premier, the Higgs family, and the many lives that she touched,” Léger wrote. 

Bertha Higgs celebrated her 100th birthday at her Forest City home on Dec. 31, surrounded by family, according to Premier Higgs’s Facebook page. 

“Mom spent her special day with her family and surrounded by love,” he wrote on Facebook at the time. “The hundreds of cards and messages sent from so many of you made the occasion even more special.”

Pictures on his page show her happily adorned in a birthday crown and sash, posing with the premier and his wife. 

A picture of Bertha Higgs posted by Premier Blaine Higgs on his Facebook page on her 100th birthday. (Facebook)

At the government briefing Monday on COVID-19, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard expressed condolences to the Higgs family “as they deal with this heartbreaking loss.” 

“Losing a parent is never easy, but it is especially hard right now, when we can’t come together and grieve as we need to,” Shephard said.

Bertha Murial Higgs was a school teacher who grew up just a few kilometres from the home where she still lived at the end of her life, about 135 kilometres southwest of Fredericton near the border with Maine. 

In a post by Premier Higgs on his Facebook page on her recent birthday, he wrote: “May this special day be filled with smiles, laughter and the joy that you brought to our lives and the lives of all who have known you for the last 100 years. Your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and family, and thousands of New Brunswickers want to wish you a very Happy 100th Birthday!”

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