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Meet Jean Ternowetsky – Fletcher Village's 100-year-old pool shark

“We had a pool table years ago, and I always used to play, so we had that going all the time,” the centenarian said.

Jean Ternowetsky saddles up to the Fletcher Village billiards table. With full focus on the task at hand, the senior bends down, placing her cue on the table's edge and carefully lining up her shot.

Concentrating, she pushes her cue forward in a fluid motion, pocketing her first ball of the day. 

A few seconds later, after her follow-up shot leaves the cue ball in a tricky spot for her opponent, the 100-year-old returns to her chair for a quick breather while her counter-part figures out what to do next. 


Just another Tuesday afternoon at Fletcher Village, where for the last month, a group of residents at the seniors-only condominium along Airdrie's First Avenue NW have been playing pool or snooker together every week.

According to Bill Simpson, one of the residents who takes part in the weekly gatherings, the Tuesday billiards games started just over a month ago, after interest started to decline in the card games that were previously held in the condominium's common area.

“We just started it up,” he told the Airdrie City View, after inviting the paper to come to the meet-up on Feb. 28. “There used to be card games in the afternoons, but they kind of petered out a little bit, so the fellas said, ‘Let’s get together and play pool and snooker.’ Now we have eight to 10 people coming down.”

One of those eight to 10 people is Ternowetsky, a centenarian who who has lived at the condo for 13 years. The quiet and reserved 100-year-old has raised a few eyebrows already among the other players with her assured shooting. 

“It took a little bit of coaxing to get her to come down,” Simpson said. “I talked to one of the women here and she brought her down and stayed with her for the first game. She liked it so much that she’s been coming down ever since. It’s been five weeks now that she’s been down here playing with us.”


Taking a brief break from her game on Tuesday, Ternowetsky tells the City View she's no stranger to billiards. She said there was always a table to play at back when she lived in Saskatchewan, where she spent 40 of her 100 years. Living on a farm near Yorkton, Ternowetsky said pool was a common activity back home.

“We had a pool table years ago, and I always used to play, so we had that going all the time,” she said, adding her favourite part of the game is its social nature. 

“I like being with people. We play every Tuesday, and we play other games too.”

Ternowetsky moved to Fletcher Village in 2010, at the age of 87. After leaving the farm, she and her family moved to Calgary, where they spent many years. She moved to Airdrie in 2010 after her late husband's passing, in order to be closer to her son, who lives in Acme.

“They found me this place, so that’s where I moved,” she said. “It’s nice – I like it here.”


As for the weekly pool games, they seem to be catching on, according to Simpson. He said residents were eager to enjoy each other's company again after a few years of pandemic-influenced isolation. Playing cards and pool has been a great way for the residents to socialize in person once again.

“It’s a good bunch and they’re all having fun,” he said.

“Our biggest problem is [figuring out] whose turn is it now?” 

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