Aileen Hewett turned 101 on Monday, May 27, and enjoyed a visit from Molly, the St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog, at Deni House where Hewett has been living since Oct. 12, 2018. When asked what her secret to longevity is, Hewett replied, “I stayed healthy by working I guess.” Hewett led the way in the 1970s to create the Child Development Centre. She was born in Saskatchewan near Nipawan and Radville, Sask. Her son Tom Hewett said she was born on the homestead and her birth certificate actually lists the co-ordinates. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Hewett celebrates 101st birthday in lakecity

Hewett is the founder of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre

On her 101st birthday, Aileen Hewett enjoyed visiting with one of her best friends. Molly, a six-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever, who is a St. John’s Ambulance certified therapy dog.

Her handler, Karen Wright, normally brings Molly to Deni House on Wednesday afternoons, but made a special trip on Monday, May 27, because she knows how much Hewett loves visiting with Molly.

As her canine friend sat on a chair beside her, Hewett stroked her neck.

When Hewett and asked Molly if she’d like some birhtday cake, Wright declined on her behalf saying chocolate wasn’t good for dogs and Molly had some carrots in the car.

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Hewett moved into Deni House full time in October 2018.

Prior to the move, she had been attending programs there three times a week.

When asked about the secret of her longevity, Hewett said “I stayed healthy by working I guess.”

It’s no secret how hard she worked.

Hewett is the founder of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, which she began in 1973 after trying to find help for her late son Rob, and several of his friends who had dyslexia.

In 1975, after collaborating with the local mental health association, and others, the society started operation in a room in the old skating rink, with three staff members serving six children.

Read more: Child Development Centre founder turns 100

Her son, Tom Hewett, said he was taking his mom to her restaurant of choice — Ken’s Restaurant — for a birthday dinner to visit owner George Cheung.

“Mom loves to go visit George,” he said.

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