Centenarian still marvels at mankind’s trip to moon
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For the past century, Bessie Meeks has tread softly on this earth she considers holy ground.

Speaking from her room at Helen Henderson Retirement Lodge where she has lived for the past seven years, Bessie is humble and kind. Needlepoint bible verses cover her walls. It is a quiet and unassuming life that is common for many seniors.

But unlike others, Bessie has reached a notable milestone.

“It’s something I didn’t expect,” she says with a smile when asked about her upcoming 100th birthday on Sept. 29, 2018.

“There isn’t any secret to living to 100,” she explains patiently. “I was blessed with good health all of my life.”

The proud mother of two daughters, Bessie notes, “I was taught by my mother to always do my best. I always try to do that. Also, my faith was always very strong. It held me. My mother taught me in that way.”

Born and raised near Verona, Bessie didn’t move far from home. She taught school for four years in Bellrock and 26 years in Verona.

“I always taught primary children,” she confirms. “I liked the little children.”

Grateful for the assisted living she receives at the accredited retirement home in Amherstview, Bessie likes to spend her time knitting or crocheting.


“I like to do things with my hands,” she says, gesturing to her work table. “I’d rather do things like that or do things for someone else. The people here are so dependable, honest and kind. They’re some of the best friends I’ve ever had.”

Asked if there’s anything she would still like to accomplish, Bessie pauses before answering, “I always thought I would like to cross the Atlantic, but I never got to do that.”

A witness of many of humanity’s significant historical events and technological advancements, Bessie feels people should still be proud of the trip to the moon by Apollo 11 in 1969.

“Most people would say they didn’t expect it,” she says with wonderment.

Helen Henderson Care Centre is honoured to celebrate Bessie Meeks’ 100th birthday this month. To learn more about living or working in our retirement lodge, please call 613-384-4585 ext. 233.

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