Surprise birthday flashmob for B.C. granny who wished life was a musical
'This was one of my best birthdays in my 85 years,' says Coquitlam's Maureen St. Pierre
Maureen St. Pierre often said to her children that wouldn't it be amazing if life was like a musical.
The Coquitlam, B.C. grandmother got her wish when her family staged a flashmob surprise for her 85th birthday.
Her daughter, Danielle Digby, says St. Pierre is a special woman because she adopted five interracial children in the 1960s at a time when the Civil Rights Act was still new and racial tensions remained high.
She later ran away from her abusive husband and married Digby's father, and had a sixth child who was Danielle.
Digby says her mother's love for musical theatre inspired her to become a musical theatre actress. That's why she felt a flashmob musical theatre would be the perfect surprise for her.
Digby put the call out for participants and then spent a few months planning and rehearsing for the big day.
Then on Aug. 6 — the day after St. Pierre's birthday — she invited the whole family for dinner and asked them to meet at the gazebo in Rocky Point Park.
"So we sat down on a bench to take our photo together, and my mom had no idea that everybody in the gazebo was going to do the flashmob," Digby said.
The video that Digby posted captures the delight and surprise on her mother's face.
"I had no idea this was all planned. I just thought, 'oh that's nice. A young man is singing musical theatre. But then he said my name!'" St. Pierre said.
"I was quite surprised."
The flashmob performed two songs — "Put on your Sunday clothes," from the musical Hello Dolly and "YMCA" — which Digby said she has fond memories of watching her mother sing and dance to in her childhood.
"This was one of my best birthdays in my 85 years," St. Pierre said.
"It was so special because all my children were there and some of my grandchildren too."