Merle Barwis isn't just Canada's oldest living person: as of today, she is also the oldest person ever to live in British Columbia.
The centenarian who resides in a Langford care home turns 113 years and 14 days old today, surpassing B.C.'s former title holder, Alice Sjöquist, who was 113 years and 13 days old when she died in November 1991, Postmedia News reported.
Barwis is currently the ninth-oldest Canadian who ever lived and, by the end of January, she will become the seventh.
And, as her 67-year-old grandson Richard Barwis tells it, Merle is healthy beyond her years.
"She's just been amazing," he told Postmedia. "Until a recent little bout, she was on hardly any medication — a couple of minor things, like high blood pressure. But other than that, she was really good."
Barwis was born Merle Emeline Stedwell on Dec. 23, 1900 in Des Moines, Iowa, about a month before Queen Victoria's death.
She grew up in Saskatchewan, where her father had a horse ranch and supplied animals to the RCMP, Global News reported.
She married Dewey Barwis in 1923 and together they moved to Victoria in 1952, The Times Colonist reported.
Barwis made news in 2012 when she enjoyed a beer on her birthday.
"She always said, 'Keep clean, mind your own business and have a cold beer once in a while,'" Richard told CBC News at the time.
He attributes his grandmother's long life to good genes, saying that some of her relatives lived into their 80s and 90s.
Barwis is currently the 13th oldest living person in the world. The title holder, Misao Okawa of Japan, is set to turn 116 in March, according to Guinness World Records.
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