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Lola Aiken celebrates a big birthday - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Lola Aiken celebrates a big birthday

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

No cards, no presents; just roses for a birthday girl whose bash was important enough to be held at the Vermont Statehouse.

"She is more than a state treasure," Sister Barbara Gregoire said. "She is a treasure in all of our hearts."

Friends, family, and politicians packed the Cedar Creek Room under the Golden Dome to celebrate the grand dame of Vermont's Republican Party. Lola Aiken turned 100.

The first lady was escorted by current Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat. But political party at this party doesn't matter. Everyone loves Lola.

"I want to wish her a happy 100th birthday on behalf of all Vermonters," Shumlin said. "Thank you so much, Lola."

The governor proclaimed this Lola Aiken Day in Vermont.

"I really almost fainted when I saw how good it was," she laughed.

Lola Aiken is the widow of the governor-turned-U.S. Senator George Aiken. The two made quite a political pair. Governor Aiken became one of Vermont's most respected statesmen, his loving wife always by his side.

Lola told WCAX News in 1979 that she liked Washington and its interesting and powerful people, but really missed Vermont.

"The gossip in Washington is interesting gossip. The governor loves people. Even when we go out to dinner at the Putney Inn it's a big deal and the governor checks up with everybody," she said then.

It's also a big deal when Lola dines out. She still spends a lot of her time mingling in Montpelier. The day before her big birthday party-- a coffee date with pals.

Lola still loves the attention. Wearing her signature glasses and one big grin at the Statehouse, she greeted folks one by one, always appreciative, always a lady.

"All I can do is hug them all," she said.

And she shared her secret to living a long life-- kindness.

"I think I need to talk to people and to be nice to them," she said.

After a birthday song, Lola blew out the candle on her cake to cheers. And here's to many more.

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