VANCOUVER -- When Agnes Lorimer Heggie's parents died in the late 1930s, she was forced to drop everything and care for her four siblings.

That meant leaving Vancouver's Magee Secondary without a diploma, a regret she carried with her for decades – until Wednesday night, when she became British Columbia's first-ever recipient of an honorary high school diploma.

The Vancouver School Board said it was bestowed in recognition of Heggie's contributions as a "war veteran's wife, dedicated mother and exemplary Canadian."

"I always wished I could have finished high school, but after having five kids and moving around to follow my late-husband's career, I was never able to make it happen," Heggie said in a statement provided by the VSB. "Now at almost 100 years-old, I am honoured and grateful to receive this achievement."

After caring for her brother and sisters, which she did while working as an operator for BC Tel, Heggie married her high school sweetheart and raised their children. The family moved 30 times for her husband's careers as a Canadian Air Force pilot and a civilian pilot.

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming said Heggie's life experiences "have certainly earned her this honour."

Agnes Lorimer Heggie