Success is no accident for this senior
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Mary Leggat lives like she is going to die tomorrow and learns like she is going to live forever.

Speaking from Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge where she has lived for the past five months, Mary sparkles with life.

“I feel you should never stop learning, no matter how old you are,” the 95-year-old says with passion. “Life is not a destination, it’s a journey.”

This sentiment has special meaning for Mary who earned a university degree when she was 72.

“It was fun. I enjoyed it,” she says with enthusiasm about her study of Theatre Arts and English at Queen’s University. “I went back to school when I was 62. I got my degree when I was 72. Mind you, it was part-time, that is why it took so long.”

Mary smiles remembering her graduation day which turned out to be as remarkable as her.

“No one was hurt,” she says about the car accident on the way to the ceremony. “But by the time the police were finished getting our information, it was time for the commencement.”

The situation looked dire for Mary and her husband.

“Our car was out of commission,” she explains. “We ended up at the hall, me in one police cruiser and my husband in another. I arrived at the last minute and I was given my diploma by the president. My daughter cheered from the stands and the whole place erupted. I think I was the oldest graduate. It was something to remember. It was so unexpected.”


More than 20 years later, Mary is still proud of her accomplishment and continues to keep her mind active. Sitting on her desk near her recliner chair is a stack of books and magazines. Her room is filled with activities such as adult colouring books & crossword puzzles.

“You can really do what you want to do in life,” she says wisely. “You can learn all your life if you want. We’ve been put on this earth to enjoy life as noted by Robert Louis Stevenson who said, ‘The world is so full of a number of things, we should all be as happy as kings’.”

For people like Mary, happiness seems to radiate from their soul, filling the world with colour and light.

“Mary is loving life and that’s how it should be,” says Audrey Young, Manager of Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge. “She is joyful and wonderful to be around. She’s involved in everything and is always trying to get other residents involved in activities. It is a pleasure to have her as our Fall Open House Ambassador.”

Located in Amherstview, Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge provides assisted retirement living in a comfortable environment. The home is showcasing its services at a Fall Open House on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 1 to 4 pm.

Featuring the taste, sound and beauty of Canada, the open house is held in conjunction with the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) and will feature warm apple cider, fresh cinnamon buns and entertainment by local musicians. Admission is free and open to everyone.

“We hope the community takes advantage of this opportunity to tour our retirement lodge and meet our friendly staff,” says Angela Gibson, Assistant Administrator.

“Our Fall Open House is a great way to taste the delicious food prepared in our kitchen and enjoy the spectacular entertainment we have on a regular basis. As a family run business, we truly understand the importance of family and meeting the needs of each individual.”

“I like it here and would definitely recommend this place to others,” says Mary kindly about the accredited retirement lodge.

“I like the spaciousness and greenery here. The landscaping is very good. The staff is excellent and is always pleasant.”

Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge is proud to have Mary Leggat as our Fall Open House Ambassador. Please join us from 1 to 4 pm on Sept. 22. Or, to arrange a private tour of the lodge, please call Audrey Young at 613-384-4585 ext. 233.

Poster HHCC Open House

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