100 years old and ready to party: Honoring Brookline’s centenarians

The Titanic was still a year away when Dr. Elinor “Fuzzy” Downs was born, as was Boston’s iconic Fenway Park. Both debuted in 1912, Downs in 1911.

Anywhere else, her 108 years would make her a stand-out. But at the Party of a Century, Downs fit right in.

Downs was among 24 local centenarians (aged 99 and older) honored at the Oct. 15 Brookline Senior Center event, the fourth of its kind. The celebration is sponsored by BrooklineCAN, Brookline Council on Aging, Center Communities of Brookline and Goddard House Assisted Living.

Asked for the key to longevity, Downs was frank: “Just don’t die.”

But from the look of the party, it would appear celebration and singing also play a role in living a longer life.

The centenarians belted out “Happy Birthday” to honor Brookline’s Agnes Rogers, who celebrated her 100th birthday that day. Wearing a tiara, she danced in her seat to the Bo Winiker Band and smiled for pictures.

“It feels great. I enjoy all this,” 103-year-old Allan Seroll — the only male centenarian in attendance — said of the party.

A World War II veteran, he held court at a center table and told war stories, including the time German submarines chased his ship, which was carrying tanks to North Africa.

Now Seroll is getting ready for his 104th birthday, which is coming up in December.

His own secret to longer living? “I’d like to say it was the army food, but it wasn’t,” he joked.

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