Laval resident marks 100th birthday

Rita Murray celebrates her 100th birthday.
Surrounded by members of her family and Mille-Îles MNA Francine Charbonneau (right), Rita Murray celebrated her 100th birthday at her home at the Villagia de l’Île Paton senior citizens’ residence on April 3 in Chomedey.
Martin C. Barry

The staff and residents at the Villagia de l’Île Paton celebrated an event on April 3 that apparently doesn’t happen often at the seniors’ retirement home – the 100th birthday of a resident.

According to management at the residence, Rita Murray is the first Villagia de l’Île Paton resident to reach her hundredth anniversary. Mrs. Murray has been a Villagia resident for the past four years.

According to her eldest son, David Raizenne, she lived in Chomedey since 1957. Highly independent despite her advancing years, Mrs. Murray lived on her own into her mid-90s.

A rare centenarian

While a greater number of senior citizens than ever are now reaching 100 years of age, Mrs. Murray is the first at the Villagia de l’Île Paton. However, it’s perhaps worth noting that the residence opened only eight years ago.

“This is our first resident to reach 100, even though we have many who are in their 90s,” said Rachel Contant, executive-director of the residence. Mrs. Murray had this to say on her 100th birthday.

“I’m very thrilled to have so many people come and wish me a happy birthday,” she said in an interview with the Laval News. “What more can I say except that I guess I’m lucky to be able to celebrate my 100th birthday.”

MNA wishes her health

Among the guests was Mille-Îles Liberal MNA Francine Charbonneau, who is also Minister Responsible for the Laval Region in the provincial cabinet. She dropped by to be with Mrs. Murray’s relatives and friends for the celebration. Charbonneau presented Mrs. Murray with a useful gift, as well as an official certificate memorializing Mrs. Murray’s centennial.

“Every time I go to a celebration for a hundred years, I always wish for the people to be healthy – and you are looking good,” Charbonneau said addressing Mrs. Murray. “The most important thing is for someone to be happy and to have family with them. And that’s what you have: you have your four children here.”