WINNIPEG — When Elizabeth Buhler was born, Queen Victoria ruled England, the Czar led Russia, the Boer War broke out and Manitoba was 29 years old.
Buhler — the oldest living Canadian living in Canada — is just 12 days shy of celebrating her 111th birthday. She has lived in three centuries and two millennia. Buhler is in select company as a supercentenarian — someone who has reached the age of at least 110.
According to Wikipedia, only one Canadian, Mary Josephine Ray, is older, having been born on May 17, 1895, in Prince Edward Island.
But Ray lives in New Hampshire and is seen on some lists as the oldest living American and oldest person in North America.
Buhler is just seven days older than another Ukraine-born supercentenarian, Pearl Lutzko of Saskatchewan, who was born on Feb. 15, 1899.
Buhler’s age cannot be verified because her family says all birth records were destroyed during the years Josef Stalin was leader of the Soviet Union.
But the family says Buhler always said she was born in Ukraine on Feb. 8, 1899. She was just weeks shy of giving birth to her first child, Isaac, when she and her husband, who married on Sept. 7, 1924, in Russia, her parents and several other family members, left for a new life in Canada in 1925.
Buhler’s secret to longevity?
“Exercise, ” said her 80-year-old daughter Lena Pranke, noting her mother had several plaques recognizing she’d been the oldest participant in a fundraiser involving a 10 kilometre walk.