January 29, 2015 9:02 pm
Updated: January 29, 2015 11:14 pm

Two Edmonton 105-year-olds share the keys to a long, happy life


WATCH ABOVE: Two friends who have been around a long time celebrated their big birthdays together today. Kent Morrison has more on their shared history.

EDMONTON — Crossword puzzles, Band-Aids, traffic lights, insulin, pop-up toasters and The Royal Canadian Navy. All of those things are younger than two women who live at the Venta Care Centre in Edmonton.

So how old are Dorothy Hollands and Grace Gillies?

“I think I’ve forgotten already,” said Gillies. “But I think I’m privileged to forget that.”

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Hollands remembers though.

“105-years-old and I started out 3lbs,” Hollands said with a laugh.

Hollands was born on January 23, 1910. Gillies was born two days earlier on January 21, 1910. Gillies knows she is the oldest, but she is happy to let her friend forget that part.

“She can’t prove it, so she’s not going to argue about it,” said Gillies.

The two women have lived long enough to see 16 different Prime Ministers in office, but they’ve only known each other for a few months.

They live at the same care home, but different floors so they didn’t have a chance to meet. Until one day their wheelchairs were parked together and they started talking about how old they are. You could say time brought them together, and now it’s tough to get them apart.

“I’m very happy about it. I feel like I’ve got to know her better,” said Gillies.

Age is not their only connection. Both women worked as nurses, though Gillies spent most of her life in Saskatchewan. Now their families are close as well.

“It’s very nice,” said Dorothy’s daughter Kathryn Cochrane. “They ask us if we are going to live to this age too. I don’t think so.”

“Not a chance,” replied Grace’s daughter Elaine Berg.

On Thursday, the Venta Care Centre threw a birthday party for Hollands and Cochrane. Both received a gift from the city for their milestone birthday. Six other residents were also celebrated. One is about to turn 104 and five others will turn 100 years old this year.

Both Hollands and Gillies have some tips to living a long and healthy life.

“I think good friends and family. Good food. Lots of fun,” said Gillies.

“Just to love what [you’re] doing and enjoy life along the line. Just treat people kindly and always have a smile for them,” Hollands added.

At 105 years young, the two parked their wheelchairs side by side and listened as dozens of people sung Happy Birthday. They didn’t stop smiling.

WATCH: More from Hollands and Grace Gillies, who have 210 years between them.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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