Despite reports to the contrary, there is still at least one survivor of the Halifax Explosion alive and thriving.
Sadie Graham celebrated her 107th birthday in November.
She was five years old in 1917 when the munitions ship Mont Blanc blew up in Halifax Harbour after a collision with the Norweigan ship Imo.
A large swath of north-end Halifax was flattened, with devastation also wreaked on the Mi'kmaw community in Tufts Cove and northern Dartmouth.
Sadie, whose maiden name was Muise, was living on the southern end of Lower Water Street in Halifax. Although that area escaped major damage, the windows of her home did blow in when the Mount Blanc's deadly cargo exploded.
"My dad was on the waterfront and we were all running to the waterfront after the explosion," Sadie recalled when the Chronicle Herald visited her, with the help of her son Terry, at her room in a Dartmouth seniors facility.
"And then everybody went to the Commons.
"I saw everybody running... That's where they thought they were safe. It was a big, big outdoor thing."
She doesn't now recall being in a tent or shelter. She said they huddled together for warmth and were taken to another house. Eventually they returned home while the northern sections of the city were dealing with the aftermath, including fires, a snowstorm and thousands of injuries.
"Lots of fire," she said.
Sadie herself escaped with only a small scar she doesn't now remember getting.
"I had to be careful of glass," she said. "But it was alright.
"My dad was kind of worried after that."
Her son said she never talked much about the Explosion while the children were growing up.
"Life always presented so many difficulties for her, obstacles, and she was always overcoming them," Terry said. "She had no time to look back."
Terry helps his mother out, visiting her daily at her room in Parkland At The Lakes. Up until a year and a half ago, she was still living on her own in an apartment she moved into in 1991, in the same building as her son.
With roots in Cheticamp, Sadie lost her mother at just 18 months old and was living with her older brother and her father Peter Muise at the time of the Dec. 6 blast. He worked on the waterfront but was far enough from the blast to escape injury. He rushed home and took his small family to the Halifax Common.
In the years after, he took in boarders. They often had to move, and it was a hard life for young Sadie but she just went on with things, taking joy in going to movies and dances, eventually meeting her husband through working at Ben's Bakery. John Graham, who was known as Jack, came to deliver ice but left with a wife.
But misfortune struck again in the 1960s, however, shortly after they celebrated their 23rd year of marriage, when Jack was left paralyzed after a car accident. Sadie had to care for him and four of their eight children, including a set of twins, who were still living at home.
Sadie kept just going on.
"She was raising the family and trying to keep the house together," Terry said.
Now 69, Terry was the youngest boy, with only the twin sisters younger, although one died at the age of 10. There are five siblings left now, three brothers and two sisters.
"She made it look easy," he said. "She's made of very strong stuff.
"There's a feeling that she may outdo us all."
Sadie was featured in a 2007 column by now-retired Chronicle Herald scribe Joel Jacobson, when she was a sprightly 95, and the mounted copy of the article is featured prominently on the wall of her room.
She has no secret to explain her longevity, although she never smoked or drank alcohol.
"Just lucky," she said.
It's amazing though, to think over what world events have transpired in her lifetime.
"She was in the womb when the Titanic went down," Terry said.
But Sadie waved the question aside.
"Nothing too much," she demurred.
During the Second World War, she spent time volunteering to help keep spirits up, dancing with soldiers and Navy men.
"I could dance," she said with a sparkle in her eyes, mentioning the Saint Mary's Boat Club.
"Nice fellas," she said.
She retired from Jacobson's clothing store at age 65, in 1977.
"One of her customers that she used to wait on brings her a lemon loaf every now and again, or flowers on her birthday," Terry said.
"They just haven't forgotten her."
And the woman who complimented the reporter on his "nice teeth" and blew kisses at Chronicle Herald photographer Tim Krochak, is always reaching out to make connections, Terry said.
"She's more active, in a way, in her mind, than many of the people 30 years younger than she," he said, adding that the nurses in the facility tell him they haven't met anyone in her condition at that age.
"She has a great belief in God," Terry said. "A very strong faith, but not one she talks about, and she has a lot of friends and a lot of people that mean a lot to her."
Perhaps that's what has kept her going, a humble witness to more than a century of history.