Guess who turns 90 this month? Our very own Margaret Williams!!!
Margaret has been one of our longtime dedicated Sit Fit students at Maple Grove United Church and to be completely honest I had no idea she was turning 90 until a few months ago. I had her “stuck” as 85 years old. Maybe it’s because she still cruises regularly with her daughter.
It’s not everyday we’re in the presence of a 90 year old, especially one that lives independently on her own. So I asked Margaret to share some words of wisdom to the rest of us who inspire to “grow up” to be like her. She credits her focus on both her physical and mental health, as well as positive outlook, as to what has helped her get to 90. She follows the advice from George Carlin on how to stay young.
Margaret’s early life in Ireland.
“I was born and raised in a tiny village in Ireland. Life was so quiet and carefree. Luckily there was another girl in the village who was born the same year so we were friends. My parents had a small fruit farm which my father was able to cope with as he was a WW1 veteran. He had an artificial leg due to being shot down in 1917 over enemy territory. Picking fruit was my earliest job. I had to go to boarding school for higher education.
Following school I went to London for nursing and after four years of general training started as a probationer all over again to do my midwifery training, part of which was in a hospital and part on the district. Better jobs were available with both nursing and midwifery training. I ended up loving midwifery and had in mind trying to become a district midwife when I returned to England following my travelling.
My friend and I decided to do some travelling following our training. The original plan was to travel and work but we didn’t get very far. We arrived in Toronto in 1958. We saved like mad and spent 6 weeks travelling through the States by Greyhound bus. She had friends in Vancouver that she wanted to see. She went home after six months I stayed in Vancouver and another midwifery friend came to Canada and after some months in Oshawa joined me and we both went north to Kitimat BC. I married and remained in Kitimat for 6 years before moving to Montreal.”
Advice on keeping her mind young – she never stops learning.
“I have been a genealogical addict for over 40 years and I never stop learning new things. I have made several booklets and articles concerning some of my ancestors. My project for this winter is to scan my genealogical paper notes and get rid of some 30+ binders.”
Advice on keeping her body going at 90 years old.
“Walking has always been a tremendous part of my life. My friend and I walked constantly as youth and teenagers – there was nothing else to do!! To this day I enjoy walking and try to walk 4-5 times per week for about 30 minutes. I have a balcony in my apartment and it keeps me busy during the season growing flowers and vegetables including potatoes!! I have been attending exercise classes at church for over 10 years. I have to make an extra effort to use stairs whenever possible as the elevator is too handy.”
Her social life & travel.
“I love travelling and have managed some lovely cruises in the last few years. Hopefully another next year.!!”
Editor’s note: After knowing Margaret for a few years I know that she has a weekly plan to meet her friends at the local Tim’s on Thursdays. She’s also organizes social gatherings within her apartment such as going to the neighbourhood pub (she is Irish after all 😉).
Thank you Margaret for sharing your insight on what’s gotten you to 90. You are truly an inspiration! Leah xo