Centennial birthday celebrated on Catalina

Victoria Marchant Mann celebrated her 100th birthday last week with 140 family members and friends on Catalina Island. The festivities began with lunch at Mr. Ning’s Chinese Garden on Saturday. On Wednesday Victoria celebrated with an Italian buffet at the M Restaurant.

Victoria Marchant Mann celebrated her 100th birthday last week with 140 family members and friends on Catalina Island. The festivities began with lunch at Mr. Ning’s Chinese Garden on Saturday. On Wednesday Victoria celebrated with an Italian buffet at the M Restaurant.

Victoria was born on June 21, 1917 in Berkeley, California and moved to Los Angeles in 1919, the same year her grandparents bought a house on the Strand in Hermosa Beach. Victoria married Hershell “Bud” Mann in 1935 and moved into that house where they raised six children. This year on June 15 she was honored by the Hermosa Beach City Council as the oldest homeowner and longest resident.

Victoria’s family has had a long connection with Catalina Island. Her grandparents, Tom and Vic Marchant, visited Avalon in 1901 where Tom obtained a license to hunt goats on the backside of the island. Thirteen-year-old Victoria first came in 1930 with her 3-year-old niece and nursemaid. A terrible storm that evening played havoc with their return trip to Los Angeles. She and Bud came over after they married and stayed at the Atwater Hotel. During World War II, Bud was stationed on Catalina Island for his Merchant Marine training.

In the 1950s and ’60s Victoria came several times on various children’s field trips. In those days visitors made the journey by steamship and would watch from the decks as local boys dove for change thrown into the harbor by cheering passengers. One of those boys was a family cousin.

When in high school, her children enjoyed sanctioned “Senior Ditch Day” in Avalon. In 1997, Victoria’s daughter Virginia Moreno began a new family tradition renting a house for several nights in Avalon to celebrate Victoria’s 80th birthday. This year marks 21 years of birthday celebrations on Catalina Island.

Centennial birthday celebrated on Catalina