'Love everyday': London centenarians share their secrets to living a happy life

Eight London centenarians are celebrating their 100th birthday together as they share their fondest memories and advice for a happy life.

What's the secret to reaching 100?

Meet the eight London centenarians celebrating reaching their 100th milestone together. From left to right: Evelyn McNeill, Doris Marsland, Maysie Reid, Viora Sampson, Iona Lunn, Vera Sproule, Stan Ancans and Maria Medeiros. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

What's the secret to a long, happy life?

Well, some people are sharing their wisdom as they prepare to celebrate a milestone few have had the chance to achieve: becoming a centenarian. 

Eight residents at the Extendicare London long-term care home are celebrating their 100th year together Thursday with their friends and family. 

While some of them have officially had their birthday, others are looking forward to celebrating the occasion later this year. Some are even 101. 

Looking back on the last 100 years, residents shared their bucket lists, advice for the next generation and fondest memories as they reflected on their lives.

Iona Lunn was a dance teacher for years, and taught many different forms of dance to students. She says she wants to begin teaching again. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Iona Lunn

Age: 99 years

What's left on your bucket list?

"Go back to teaching dance ... I taught for years and years and years. I did it, so I can do it again!"

What is it about dance that you love so much?

"Because it helps people. Those who take dancing lessons ... it helps them meet the public and learn different routines. I started to teach when I was fourteen ... tap, ballet, everything."

Evelyn McNeill says her advice to living a long, happy life is to stay healthy and exercise. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Evelyn McNeill

Age: 99 years

Can you think of what the best year of your life has been?

"The year I was married ... I was 24 ... He was the best guy in the world."

How was that time like for you and your partner?


Viora Sampson loves to dance, and that dancing is one of her favourite memories. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Viora Sampson

Age: 100 years

What do you like to do?

"Dance. Square dancing or any kind of dancing. I'm happy when I dance."

What's one piece of advice you'd give to the next generation?

"To always ... keep working or doing things. Keeping busy."

Doris Marsland says that looking back, she feels very fulfilled about what she's accomplished in her life. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Doris Marsland

Age: 100 years

Can you think of the best year of your life?

"Well, when I was younger of course. They were all good years. I don't think I could distinguish one in particular. I was working, fulfilled. I was a salvation officer for 45 years, and then I was retired for just as long."

What's one piece of advice you would give to the next generation?

"Do something worthwhile."

Maysie Reid says that surrounding herself with her loved ones has motivated her throughout her life. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Maysie Reid

Age: 101 years

What's one piece of advice you'd give to the next generation?

"To be honest, it seems that a lot of people take for granted that they're going to be doing something else. They don't know what the future brings."

Why do you think it's important to take things day by day?

"Well, if you don't handle them they pile up on you. You don't think they are, but they do." 

What's something that's motivated you in life?

"It's been my people. I think people have been most important. Family, friends and that's about it."

Do you have anything else left on your bucket list?

"Oh I don't know. I'm open for anything ... I always agree to go out and do something."

Stan Ancans says there's no secret to reaching over 100. He says people need to "just live" everyday. (Jordan Heuvelmans/CBC News)

Stan Ancans

Age: 101 years

How does it feel to be 101?

"You don't do anything, you just live."

What is the secret to living to seeing 101 years?

"There's no special behaviour, just live everyday ... I liked to suntan when I was young ... I like fishing and adventuring, gardening, flowers and vegetables ... I don't do anything special." 

What's one piece of advice you would give to the next generation?

"First, finish your education. Then, go outside and just do anything to exercise [like go swimming]. Don't drink too much alcohol and stay away from drugs."

Vera Sproule had the chance earlier this year to have a huge birthday party with her family. She loved being able to see friends she hadn't seen in years.

Vera Sproule

Age: 100 years

How did it feel to turn 100?

"I always say I take it a day at a time. You can't change tomorrow so enjoy yourself everyday."

Why is that piece of advice so important to you?

"I think it's the creed that I live by." 

What's your secret to a happy life?

"As I say, my secret is to really enjoy yourself while you're here. You don't want to be unhappy ... what's the sense of that? I think it's nice to just love everyday."


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