What’s it like to live for a century? To survive two World Wars and see 19 different prime ministers at the helm? How does a person who is over 100 years old feel about their place in the world?
In a special documentary, Cymry’r Cant on S4C, three extraordinary women who are over 100 years old will share their experience and wisdom. It is shown as part of a collection of programmes shown on S4C on Monday to Friday afternoon, to coincide with Age Cymru’s Age Positive Week (28 September to 5 October).
Cymry’r Cant, a Fflic production (part of Boom Pictures Cymru), is shown at 1.05pm on Wednesday 1 October (English subtitles), and features Maria Heward from Llandudno who is 104 and still lives at home alone. She cooks and cleans the house on a daily basis and goes for days out to town every week.
Her lifelong friend, Lilian Owen, 101 lives in a home in Llandudno. She can read without glasses, her hearing is excellent and she believes you should live for the day. Also, author Mari Ellis is 101 and lives at home with her son Rolant at their home in Aberystwyth.
Programme producer, Nia Parry, spent a lot of time in their company during the filming, and made the programme in a way which unfolds each story gradually – following the pace of their lives.
“When I asked all three about the secrets behind their longevity, they all said to just keep going and to do what you can,” says Nia Parry, who worked alongside director Gruff Davies and Senior Producer Gwenda Griffith.
“They don’t think about their age and above all, they are happy. That’s not to say that they’ve had an easy life, but they haven’t wallowed in self-pity. The important message is to be grateful for what you’ve got and to start each day with a smile. It was an honour to spend time with them and I feel I have made three very special friends.”
This attitude reflects the message promoted during Age Cymru’s Age Positive Week, which aims to emphasise the positive aspects of ageing and to celebrate the contribution that older people make to our communities.
At 1.05 each afternoon on S4C, between 29 September and 3 October, there will be an opportunity to see programmes which reflect this message. As well as Cymry’r Cant, a further five archive programmes will be shown and the daily magazine programmes Prynhawn Da and Heno will also discuss aspects of Age Positive Week.
Llion Iwan, S4C Content Commissioner for Factual said, “We’re proud to support Age Cymru’s Age Positive Week, and it’s a pleasure to offer an opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary stories and people featured in these programmes. Each story told is proof that age shouldn’t hold you back.”
Ian Thomas, Age Cymru Chief Executive, said “We’re very grateful to S4C for broadcasting this series of programmes during Age Positive Week – our celebration of everything that’s positive about age and ageing. Here is a series of stories about individuals which reinforce our belief that ageing should be celebrated instead of being seen as something which limits our ability to live full and contented lives.”