Elizabeth Viens celebrated her 100th birthday, complete with a party hat reading “eternal youth” and a birthday sash. Miranda Fatur Black Press Media

‘It just happened’: B.C. woman celebrates her 100th birthday

While sporting a party hat reading ‘eternal youth,’ Elizabeth Viens said there’s no trick to living a long life

According to Langley senior Elizabeth Viens, turning 100-years-old is no big deal.

“It just happened I guess,” she said of her centennial birthday.

Viens turned 100 on Jan. 17, and the retirement home she resides in – Chartwell Langley Gardens – threw a birthday bash on Thursday, Jan. 31, complete with entertainment, beverages, cake, and decor.

“It’s been so good the last while, but it’s been awful at the same time,” said Viens of her old age.

At 100, she’s quite healthy, despite a few earlier “broken bones, and a broken hip.”

But according to Viens, there’s no secret to living a long life.

“I’m not one to give any advice,” she laughed.

Born in Scotland, Viens explained that her large family moved to the Canadian prairies when she was only nine.

“I’ve spent 90 years in Canada. I moved here when I was nine years old. We have a big family, so we thought it was a better place to be. We scattered all across Canada.”

Throughout her life, Viens had no children of her own, and married “late in life” to her husband George, who passed away in 2007.

She met George at a dance mixer in Nanaimo, when he asked her for a dance.

“He was known around there anyways, and his wife had died a few months before that,” Viens explained.

George worked at a steel plant, and the couple married when Viens was 40.

Twelve years of Viens’ life was spent in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and two years ago she moved to the Lower Mainland to be closer to her sister.

Viens explained she “never got much of an education,” so in her working years, she took up jobs “all over the place,” doing things like housekeeping and babysitting.

“We didn’t have the jobs they have now,” she added.

In her free time, Viens said she kept busy with hobbies.

“I filled my life with lots of hobbies. My husband did the same. Knitting cushions, bowling, rollerskating, all the exercises.”

The Scottish senior had a passion for travelling, and said she went back to Scotland many times, in addition to new places.

“I went on a round trip with a girlfriend. We went to Australia, to Sydney. We worked there for six months, then moved on to other places. I went back to Scotland, and across Europe, and to France.”

Some of her favourite memories throughout her long life have been “the get-togethers.”

While wearing her birthday hat, Viens said “I don’t think I deserve all this,” and explained she had a family birthday party earlier in the month with many relatives.

And good health seems to run in Viens’ family, as she explained both her sister and mother lived until they were 90.

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