Wednesday was a special day for Frances Ritchie as she celebrated her 107th birthday. “I think it’s absolutely amazing. How many times in your lifetime are you going to meet a person who lives that long?” Ritchie’s friend Maryellen Trudeau said. And after all those years, she’s still living on her own. “She’s a lovely lady. Very independent,” Dawn Adair, a friend of Ritchie’s, said. Ritchie keeps busy at home by sewing for those in need. Her granddaughter, Heather Campbell, said the sweater vests she knits go to the BC Children’s Hospital. At 107-years-old, Ritchie is one of Canada’s oldest senior citizens. “We always say she’s the energizer that just keeps going because she’s been through a lot in her life,” Campbell said. Ritchie came to Canada with her family at the age of four during the First World War. The journey took four months and those running the ship had to avoid U-boats. “And then ended up in Manitoba on a homestead, my mom and dad were both from London so they didn’t know one end of a cow from the other,” Ritchie said. She later moved to Vancouver and raised two kids, before coming to Victoria. She added that one of her secrets to living a long life is working hard. “Never smoked. I think that’s the secret,” Ritchie said.