(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.
and her two grandnieces pose for the media during the celebration.
"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
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.
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.
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