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Penticton Vees superfan, 93, surprised by team on her birthday

The longtime season ticket holder was presented a newly signed jersey by Vees captains

Even after 90 years, birthday gifts can apparently still make you feel like a kid again.

Just ask Margaret Munro, the Penticton Vees superfan who says she felt stuck in a dream last week when her 93rd birthday present appeared at her front door.

Munro was expecting a visit from her daughter on Jan. 24, but instead felt confused when she opened her door and saw three men she didn’t recognize at first glance.

Taking a break from their Wednesday morning practice were Vees co-captains Callum Arnott and Thomas Pitchette, holding a jersey signed by each of their teamates with the name ‘Munro’ and No. 93 on the back.

Joined by Fraser Rodgers — the team’s play-by-play commentator and vice president of business operations — the captains handed Munro the sweater, surprising her with something she’d always dreamed of owning.

“I darn near almost fainted,” Munro said. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have dreamed of a scenario like this happening.”

Munro has been to almost every Vees home game since 2007. Regulars to Vees’ games know Munro will be sitting in her seat before every puck drop at the SOEC.

“The Vees are the high point of my fall and winter, every year,” Munro said. “I like being there with the community…it’s just wonderful.”

The Penticton resident doesn’t drive anymore but that hasn’t stopped her from attending almost every game. She’s had multiple drivers in recent years and has outlived two of them.

From the team’s record-breaking win streak in 2012 to the back-to-back Fred Page Cup titles in 2022 and 2023, Munro says her most recent birthday gift stacks up right next to all her favourite Vees memories.

Sharon Lusch, a community relations manager at Penticton’s Concorde Retirement Centre, was joined by Munro’s daughter and the members of the Vees when the birthday surprise was unveiled.

When Munro asked why the three men were by her door, Lusch — in an effort to cover up the surprise for a little longer — said they were her bodyguards.

“I actually believed her,” Munro said with a laugh.

Starting in 2007, it was tradition for Munro and her husband, Richard, to attend every Vees home game. The couple moved back to Penticton in 2006 after spending the early years of their life in the city. Richard died in 2017.

Munro couldn’t help but think of her late husband when she saw her 93rd birthday gift.

“He once got a signed hockey stick from Mario Lemieux,” Munro said while holding the prized collectible and thinking of all the times she’d watched hockey with Richard. “He never missed a game on TV…that gift he got and this jersey here are the two most special gifts in our family now.”

When asked who her favourite players are on the Vees’ current team, Munro didn’t hestiate to respond.

“Well now it has to be Callum and Thomas,” she said with a laugh. “I’ll always remember this.”

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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