Gracious ‘thank yous’ from a proud centenarian

Dorscie Paterson grateful for all the well wishes from family and friends.

Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 100th birthday in January with a party at West Langley Hall.

Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 100th birthday in January with a party at West Langley Hall.

Editor: On Jan. 25, a celebration of my 100th birthday was held at the Lions West Country Hall in Langley. It is a lovely high-ceilinged hall from which hung three long balloons. That is all you need for family and friends.

My husband had seven sisters and only two are left. There is the youngest, Margaret Warner, and her family, and Charlotte Cliff-Talbot and her family. They were all there. My friends from the youthful Lady Lions and my other pals from hospice volunteering and palliative care were there, as well as my sisters from Beta Xi Gamma Mu and Alpha Ro Master.

Present, too, were my nephews, nieces and descendants of my brother-in-law Charles Merchant. They came from Boston Bar and Cache Creek, which was a great surprise.

And my latest grandson Quinlan, with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Antonio, was also there.

I must thank my Beta sister Mary Cooley, who took on the job of filing all the letters of congratulation in an album. It was displayed for all to see at the gathering at Hospice House on Jan. 31. There were letters from the Queen, prime minister, governor general, MPs and mayors.

My nephew John Warner was the first to speak when Mr. Tremblay called the “roast.” Thank you, John, for your kind words to your auntie.

My daughter, Mrs. Dee, as her students call her, has been at my side, shepherding me the whole time — what a support. Her words were of love and understanding from the heart and, of course, one or two memories, with a laugh thrown in which no one will forget.

MLA Rich Coleman told of some of my activities in Vancouver before Langley. It seems hard to believe that my mother and I campaigned for universal health care with Tommy Douglas in the 1930s.

He then presented me with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. I am truly honoured.

The Langley Lions gave to me and all who   were there precious time for “howdies” and hugs. No one will forget the happiness shared and the love that warmed our hearts.

Thank you. There will never be a gathering just like that again. It was a gift.

For 100 years I have lived and no one knows better than I that life moves on. We come and we go. What remains are memories and the feelings imprinted on our hearts from making and sharing those memories.

In time, even some memories fade, but the feelings never do.

The love given that evening will warm and bond us forever, for it becomes a part of us all, like a bloodstream that flows to eternity. Becoming part of and serving a community is how we live forever. The rest is detail.

Again, thank you all and much love.

Dorscie Steele Cox Cameron Paterson,

Cloverdale