Dorscie Paterson turned 107 on Saturday, Jan. 25. (L to R) Great-grandson Malcolm Hett, Dorscie, granddaughter Julie Hett, and great-granddaughter-in-law Debbie Paterson. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s Dorscie Paterson turns 107

Long time activist and hospice volunteer looking forward to 108

Dorscie Patterson is already looking forward to her next birthday.

She celebrated her 107th birthday on Saturday, Jan. 25 with close to 50 friends and relatives in what the longtime Langley resident described as a “glorious” event with grandchildren and great-grandchildren present.

She isn’t sure how she will top that when she turns 108, but she means to try.

“Oh boy, will I do it,” Paterson laughed.

Paterson was born on Robbie Burns Day, the same year the first crossword puzzle was published in a newspaper, the year Henry Ford started his automobile assembly line and the year prizes started to be put into Cracker Jack boxes.

READ MORE: No plans to slow down as ‘firecracker’ turns 100

READ MORE: Langley legend turns 104 years of age

Over the years, she has a developed a well-earned reputation for speaking her mind.

In 2000, Paterson gained the attention of several high-profile politicians and media outlets from around the country, when she turned off the heat in her home for a month during a cold snap, to protest the rising costs of [then] Terasen Gas.

She said she was fighting for seniors across B.C. who couldn’t afford to heat their homes. She started a letter writing campaign and gathered thousands of signatures and sent them to the B.C. government.

Paterson was living on her own at home on her acreage until she broke her hip in 2016.

Now a resident in one of the extended care homes at Langley Memorial Hospital, Paterson said the secret to her longevity is that she keeps moving, as much as she can.

“I get up in the morning, and I move my legs and my body [and I say] hooray,” Paterson told a visitor.

Paterson is one of the original founders of the Langley Hospice Society and spent the more than three decades advocating for a stand-alone hospice residence for Langley.

When she was in her 90s, her dream came true, and the hospice residence opened in 2005, across from Langley Memorial with 10 beds.

On the day of her birthday, she pointed out the hospice wing that is in view of the care home where she lives.

It is mostly men, she observed.

“I’ll wave at them,” she confided.

“Sometimes, I’ll blow them a kiss, just to make them feel better.”

Then, she took a firm grip on the ear of a visiting reporter and moved him in range for a quick peck on the forehead.

“Everyone loves a kiss,” Paterson said.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are.”

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