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“Eat lots of rice and chicken thighs”

Wise words from one of nine centenarians who reside at Mount Saint Joseph.

Shiu Kim Wong has been alive for the sinking of the Titanic, the start of Mother’s Day, both World Wars, the birth of computers and cell phones. At 107 years old, the resident of Mount Saint Joseph Hospital has seen so much in her lifetime. Her grandson Godwin Wong credits her longevity to “good genes, a simple life, and family visits.”

One of the younger centenarians at Mount Saint Joseph, Loo May King, 100 years old, has this advice for anyone else who wants to enjoy a long life: “Eat lots of rice and chicken thighs.”

But those two centenarians are not the only ones with incredible life stories to share. Turns out almost one-tenth of the 100 residents at Mount Saint Joseph have lived a century or more. In addition to those nine residents, another 35 are 90 years of age or older. A special birthday celebration to honour the centenarians was held in April. Staff handed out flowers, birthday hats and traditional Chinese longevity peach buns filled with sweet red bean paste.

Site leader Carrie Willekes says during her career in residential care, she’s typically seen one or two centenarians at a facility at any given time, so to have nine at once is incredible. She laughs, “Of course we attribute the longevity to great care here at MSJ, in addition to a great community.”