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For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2003

Longevity 101

Gladys and her two grandnieces
Gladys and her two grandnieces pose for the media during the celebration.
(Brampton) - What are the secrets to a long and happy life? According to Gladys Smith, who turns 101 on Nov. 9, they are simple things: family, hard work, faith, goodwill, exercise and good food. On Wednesday Nov. 5, Gladys celebrated her birthday by throwing a big party for her friends and family with the help of staff at Sheridan Villa where she resides.

"The way you live is more important than how long you live. My whole life has been marvelous and I owe it all to God's love and grace," says Gladys.

Born in 1902, Gladys has lived through two world wars and the turn of a century. She was one of six children raised on a farm in Maxwell, Ontario, by her parents, Abraham Lincoln Smith and Gertrude Meredith. Growing up, Gladys was no stranger to hard work. She fondly remembers how she and her siblings used to harvest blueberries for selling.

Gladys had a long and rewarding career. In 1915, when her family moved to Toronto, she worked in munitions making bullets as part of the war effort. Later, she became a Sunday school teacher and Superintendent for the Dovercourt Baptist Church where she worshipped. She stayed there for 45 years before joining Eatons' Lost and Found department where she worked for 20 more years.

Throughout her life, Gladys dedicated most of her time to helping her community. She was the Chairwoman of the Pioneer Girls Committee which held annual parades and arts activities for young girls while teaching them the importance of ethics and Christian values. As President of the Ladies Mission Circle, Gladys invited speakers for events, knitted clothing and helped raise money to support various missions. "I had a great time doing the Lord's work with members of my church by preparing missionaries for their efforts around the world. Family is much larger than the one you're born into," says Gladys.

Gladys is convinced that exercise and good food are also important to longevity, not to mention balancing hard work and rest. She's always done plenty of walking to stay active. When asked to describe her favourite food, she replied, "Gravy and potatoes - I love rice pudding and lemon meringue pie."

Today, Gladys spends most of her time relaxing. She enjoys visiting the salon and socializing with her friends and family.

Sheridan Villa, one of the Region of Peel's long-term care centres, has more than 30 years of experience in caring for older adults in the Peel community. Residents at Sheridan Villa enjoy a safe and comfortable home-like environment, personal attention to their daily needs, and stimulating activities through a variety of programs. For more information about Sheridan Villa or to arrange a tour, call 905-791-8668.

For more information on the Region of Peel long term care centres, call Health Line Peel at 905-799-7700

Inga Mazuryk
Administrator, Sheridan Villa
Region of Peel
905-791-8668, Ext. 2906

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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