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Still sharp at 102!


Maurice MacMillan always has been known for his excellent memory. In fact, some people say he’s still as sharp as a tack!

On Friday (Oct. 10), MacMillan celebrated his 102nd birthday with the residents of the Golden Age Manor in Emo and a few close friends. He said he wanted to keep it simple this year, but somehow word leaked out and soon members of the community appeared at the door, asking if they could join the festivities.

About 50 people enjoyed a party of sandwiches, cake, and ice cream. Entertainment for the afternoon included John Vandenbrand, who sang a couple of songs.

Janet Loney then gave a brief tribute to the guest of honour. She spoke not only about MacMillan’s inspirational longevity but also about his positive spirit, gritty determination, and quick wit.

MacMillan, himself, ended the afternoon’s entertainment with a remarkable recitation of the well-known poem, “Winken, Blinken, and Nod.” Although he must have learned the eight stanzas many, many years ago, MacMillan—to the amazement of many—did not miss a single word.

At 102, MacMillan is still quite independent. He rises each day at 7 a.m. and cooks his own breakfast, which is usually porridge. He then gets himself ready for the day.

MacMillan likes to be dressed before the homecare worker arrives to do the dishes.

Putting on his socks in the morning became quite an ordeal, but MacMillan was given a unique solution to the problem: a device that looks like soccer shin guard. He pulls the sock over the device, which stretches it so he can slide his foot in without much difficulty.

“At noon, I go down to the cafeteria for my meal,” he explained.

For supper, MacMillan fixes himself something in his apartment.

MacMillan admits he has lost some of his mobility and, at 102 years old, he probably isn’t quite as spry as he used to be, but his mind seems as sharp as ever.

He still enjoys reading, going down to the common room to work on a jigsaw puzzle, reciting poetry, and entertaining his friends.

According to a report in the June 19 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City have found that seniors who participate in mind-stimulating leisure activitie,s such as reading, doing puzzles, or playing a musical instrument, have a much lower risk of losing some of their cognitive abilities as they age.

People in the Emo area don’t need an expensive study to prove the benefits of mind-stimulating activities.

All they need to do is to sit down and talk with Maurice MacMillan for just a few minutes and they’ll quickly discover he’s still as sharp as a tack!

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