A southern Newfoundland woman who celebrated her 106th birthday this weekend with family and friends is not shy about food choices that are not usually associated with healthy living.

Margaret Ellen Moores was the life of her own party on Saturday in Rushoon where she told four successive generations in her family that God must have plans for her to stick around.

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Margaret Ellen Moores blows out candles for her 106th birthday with her daughter, Marie Cheeseman. (Martine Blue/CBC )

"He put me here, I suppose, and that was it. I had to stay till I went," Moores said during the party. "I'm after being to the door a few times ... He told me to go away, there was no place there for me yet."

Her daughter, Mary Cheeseman, said genetics must play a role in her mother's longevity — and certainly not the foods closest to her heart.

"She loves her sweets. She never drank water in her life," Cheeseman told CBC News.

"[She loves] her salt beef, the same old-time meals as ever she had … She loves her pizza and French fries now. So it's not her diet is it?" she said with a laugh.

Hard work, good times

Moores, who has 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. can recite poetry she learned from a reader she used 100 years ago, has vivid memories of a 1929 tsunami that swamped southern Newfoundland, and recalls how she travelled by boat to St. John's at 17 to work as a maid.

P.O.V.

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Moores, whose only medication is a daily dose of Tylenol for arthritis, has her own theory of survival: hard work when she was young, and plenty of fun after she retired.

"Good times I guess, when I got old. I didn't have them when I was young," she said.

"[I] got so fond of them, I couldn't let them go."  

With files from Martine Blue