04/07/2016 14:40 EDT | Updated 04/08/2017 01:12 EDT

Woman celebrating 107th birthday says key to long life is being good to others

TRURO, N.S. — Jeanette Brown's pink and white cake was much too small to accommodate the right number of candles for her milestone birthday.

Brown celebrated her 107th birthday today in Truro, N.S., and said the key to a long and happy life is being good to others.

Neatly dressed in a black and white shirt and surrounded by family for her birthday lunch, Brown said one standout world event from the last century is Barack Obama's election as president of the United States.

Brown, who is a black woman, said it was a great step forward for equality, but there's still more that needs to be done.

Brown was married at age 16 and had three children before she was 20 years old, all of whom have since passed away.

She worked at an ammunition factory in Montreal during the Second World War and received her high school diploma at age 63.

The Canadian Press