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Party’s a century in the making

As a Woolwich woman hits the century mark, she’s had plenty of time to reflect on her life, contributions, and secrets to longevity and good health.

St. Jacobs Village Manor Retirement Home resident Lillian Weiss turned 100 on January 20. Her birthday party was hosted three days later at the home, where she was surrounded by friends and staff, complete with a birthday cake, balloons, and live entertainment.

Newly minted centenarian Lillian Weiss blew out the candles on her birthday cake at the Village Manor Retirement Home in St. Jacobs on Jan. 23. [Veronica Reiner / The Observer]

“It’s a huge personal achievement, if I do say so myself,” said Weiss, during her celebration party. “I’ve been very fortunate to have good health throughout my life. I am truly blessed.”

She and her family moved south to the Waterloo Region from Mildmay, Ont., when she was just nine-months-old. Weiss attended high school in KW, where she achieved several scholarships. Eventually, Weiss landed a job working in Ottawa for the government as a canteen girl.

Her real passion, however, came from raising money for charities. In particular, Weiss fundraised for the Canadian Cancer Society through fashion shows in the region for about two decades. She said while things started off small, the effort gradually grew over the years to raise more and more money.

“When I first started I didn’t make very much,” said Weiss. “Then I added door prizes, this and that, and the money accumulated more. I used to make a lot of money.”

It’s a cause that’s very personal to her, having lost her husband to stomach cancer. She said most people she knows have been affected by cancer in some way, shape or form.

“That’s a good aim in life; to help people that can’t help themselves or help people financially and raise money for them. And that’s what I’ve tried to do,” said Weiss. “I’m 100-years-old, and I’m not stopping.”

She’s also involved with the Confederation Club in Waterloo, a networking organization whose stated purpose is to promote awareness and inform members on matters of national, economic or social interest with a Conservative focus.

Weiss attends their meetings when she can, which generally take place once a month and feature a guest speaker. Staying involved in the community, she said, is one of the keys to longevity.

“Keep busy – secret to a long life; I tell that to everybody that asks me: keep your mind busy. Don’t just lag around,” said Weiss.

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