Senior Center 'gangleader' celebrates 100

LACONIA — "Oh, yes, I remember the Model-T. . . I rode in one," exclaimed Marie Carrigan as City Councilor Bob Hamel reeled off a list of milestones she had passed when the Laconia Senior Center celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday.

Carrigan has been an active volunteer at the center for the past two decades. She is revered for her baked goods, particularly her renowned chocolate cake, as well as her knitting and crocheting, which have brought joy to many of her fellow seniors.

Carrignan was born in Canada, but has lived nearly all her life in New Hampshire, where she worked in hosiery mill in Franklin. She was married for 41 years with one daughter, three grandsons and two great-grandchildren and still makes her home in the same large house where she has lived for more than 60 years.

A regular at the Bingo table on Wednesdays and Fridays as well as at "Dine Around," she is known at the center as "the gangleader." When Hamel noted that the year she was born marked the first time a woman jumped from an airplane, someone was heard to "Marie drove her to it."

Asked what was the secret to a long life, Carrigan replied without hesitation "there's no secret. The years just keep creeping up on you and all of a sudden you're a hundred."