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One Century and Counting

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On August 14, alongside a room full of friends at the Azure nightclub in Vancouver, Doug McIntyre marked his centurion year with dancing, cake, and a heartfelt speech.

On August 14, alongside a room full of friends at the Azure nightclub in Vancouver, Doug McIntyre marked his centurion year with dancing, cake, and a heartfelt speech.

"He brought a list of songs he wanted played and danced to all his favourites," said Marika Kovalcikova, party organizer and good friend of several years who thinks she has the answer to McIntyre's longevity.

Stay Active

Doug McIntyre belongs to a dance group. He meets them once a week at Vancouver's Point Grey Community Centre to groove and drink tea, and for a little extra workout here and there, he wades in the pool outside his apartment when the sun comes out, that is.

McIntyre also walks to the legion at least once a week. "It's really not that far," he says, "and I love getting the fresh air." This is a man who insists Vancouver needs more places for older people to go out dancing. "You've got lots of options for twenty- and thirty-somethings, but once you're sixty or over, where do you go?"

Eat Well

To what does he attribute his level of wellness in his older years? Potatoes. "They're really good for you, you know," he said smiling. But the truth is there's a lot more than potatoes to reaching triple digits.

Remain Positive

"The man is highly positive, sweet-natured, and proactive about living well. He eats very healthfully and makes sure to take his vitamins every single day," said Kovalcikova. "He's always reminding me to make sure I eat a good breakfast and get lots of rest too," she said laughing.

Stay Involved

Kovalcikova mentioned McIntyre's affinity for getting involved in things and consistently showing interest in other people's lives. "He's always planning and organizing something," she said. "He loves to be involved. It's amazing how much he reads up on community groups, knows what's going on, and genuinely takes an interest," she said, pointing out that the more we feel needed, the more alive we become.

"Doug says it's the young, beautiful women around him," says Kovalcikova, laughing. But she's convinced it's regular medical check ups, his attention to eating healthy, whole foods, and his commitment to proper rest that keep McIntyre young.

Keep Memories Alive

Having lived through the days of horses and buggies, survived the "dirty thirties," two world wars, and the booming wealth of technological changes the world has seen, McIntyre is happy to sit and recount stories from the old days. He talks about his beautiful wives, both of whom he outlived, but neither of whom he will ever forget, and reminisces about dancing the whole night away at the legion. The man is full of energy and vitality, not to mention a spirit that's touched a centurion of people around him.

The age-old question about how to achieve healthy longevity seems to have found an answer: Perhaps we should take McIntyre's lead and dance more.

With years a richer life begins,
The spirit mellows:
Ripe age gives tone to violins,
Wine, and good fellows.

John Townsend Trowbridge. (1827-1916)

Source: John Bartlett. Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919

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