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03 Mar
Life lessons from our 101-year-old alumnus

Life lessons from our 101-year-old alumnus

Find out what advice the SAIT legend has on life, love, history and why he's determined to live to 111.

Centenarian Clarence Hollingworth is a SAIT rock star — he watched the cornerstone being laid for Heritage Hall, was a student and instructor, and most recently received an honorary SAIT degree.

Although the years have worn down his height, his charisma certainly makes up for it. It only takes a few moments to be captivated by his gratitude and zest for life.

'I've been lucky,' he says.

On the eve of his 101st birthday, SAIT sat down with Hollingworth to ask him questions we gathered from the SAIT community . Here's what he had to say:

What is your idea of a life well-lived? How did you achieve it?

I enjoyed virtually everything I did, including going to school … Having good friends, a good social life and eventually marriage. In my case, I've been exceptionally lucky — I've had all of these things. Now that I'm 101 and still in good health, I can relax and continue to have a real good life. That's if I stay out of mischief, dammit.

You were married 43 years before your beautiful wife Joan passed away. What is your secret to a long and happy marriage?

Joan and I didn't get into heated arguments or use bad language towards one another and we had a nice circle of friends. I always helped around the house, even doing laundry if I was available ― you know, not at work or doing yard work, etc. We made a good team all our lives. We always had the time for movies and dancing.

Who had the greatest impact on your life?

My wife, Joan.

Who is your superhero?

I have two ― Jack Cornwell, and Sir Winston Churchill.

If you could go back in time and relive one year of your life, what year would it be?

What is the greatest invention you've ever seen?

What world events had the most impact on you?

There were two. The great flu epidemic at the end of First World War. It killed more than 20 million people worldwide.

The death camps and gas chambers of the Second World War associated with the rise in power of the Nazi party.

What was your favourite TV show growing up?

Amos and Andy and Little House on the Prairie. But TV didn't come to Calgary until 1958, and I was already grown up ― I was 43!

Clarence talks about the time he lived in Hollywood and why he has a film collection of 3,000 DVDs and VHS

You're one year older than SAIT! As we near 100, what would be your advice for achieving a successful 100th year on earth?

Before I answer, I'll say that old age and success are much like riding a bicycle ― you've got to keep pedaling or you'll fall. Pun intended. So keep breathing, keep learning, keep pedaling and you will have success. You may even live to be 101.

Clarence shares his plans to live until 111

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