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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:40, July 01, 2005
Woman celebrates 115 years
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A Dutch woman who swears by a daily helping of herring for a healthy life celebrated her 115th birthday on Wednesday as the oldest living person on record.

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, a former needlework teacher, was born in 1890, the year Sioux Indians were massacred by the US military at the Battle of Wounded Knee.

The passionate soccer fan celebrated her birthday in a nursing home in the northern Dutch town of Hoogeveen.

"She eats a piece of herring every day because it's good for the health," said Johan Beijering, director of the Westerkim nursing home. "She is still mentally full of vitality."

The daughter of a headmaster, Van Andel-Schipper was born in the town of Smilde in the northern Netherlands on June 29, 1890.

Also known as Hennie, she married a tax inspector in the 1930s and was forced to sell her jewellery to buy food during the German occupation in World War II.

Van Andel-Schipper was visited by Princess Laurentien, Queen Beatrix's daughter-in-law, at a home for the elderly in Hoogeveen. A delegation from the Amsterdam soccer club also called on her, Dutch television reported.

The last time she was visited by the team she complained that other residents of the home, where she has been since giving up living on her own at age 106, were "hicks who don't understand soccer," and joked that the secret to long life was "breathing."

"A scan of our archive reveals that Hennie is also older than the 'Guinness World Records' holder for the oldest man living, which makes her the oldest person in the world," said "Guinness World Records" book editor Craig Glenday.

The world's oldest living man on record, Emiliano Mercado Del Toro, lives in Puerto Rico. He was born on August 21, 1891.

Source: China Daily

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