Dorscie Paterson, a longtime community volunteer, has dedicated more than three decades to lobbying for a free-standing hospice in Langley. In 2005, that dream was realized, but Paterson has vowed to continue advocating for palliative care in Langley.

‘Feisty’ community activist turns 104

Dorscie Paterson continues to lobby for hospice from convalescent care residence

Longtime community activist Dorscie Paterson spent the first part of  her 104th birthday on Wednesday, going down the halls in her motorized wheelchair singing happy birthday to the nurses at the convalescent care residence where she is currently staying.

She followed that up with exercise classes, where she said she “could teach them a thing or two,” said her granddaughter, Lori Paterson.

“She’s just hilarious. She keeps the nurses on their toes, that’s for sure. We just love her to pieces,” said her granddaughter.

Paterson shares her birthday with Robbie Burns Day, which suits the centenarian just fine, she noted.

“My husband and I never missed a Robbie Burns dance.

“He would wear his kilt and I would wear my tartan.”

Up until two years ago, Paterson was still driving and volunteering at the Langley Hospice.

She was living at home on her acreage until she broke her hip last year. But the fall hasn’t got her down and she is still as feisty as ever.

Dorscie is one of the original founders of the Langley Hospice Society and has spent the last 30 years advocating for a stand-alone hospice residence for Langley.

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

Having received several medals and government awards for her years of volunteerism, Paterson is an honorary board member, who still attended the board’s monthly meetings, said the Langley Hospice Society.

Up until she was 101 years old, she was still volunteering at hospice once a week.

‘I volunteered every Sunday for 31 years. I’ve had some of my most wonderful experiences there,” said Paterson on her birthday.

But she isn’t done advocating for hospice care for Langley.

“I’m waiting for a 15-bed hospice. Then, they can reserve a bed for me there and I can go,” she said.

She encourages anyone who is even remotely considering volunteering for hospice to give it a try.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said.

At the end of the visit, which was filled with so much laughter, it may have been getting too rowdy, she asked what she would do for her 105th birthday.

“I’ve already got letters from the Queen.

“I guess we will have to see.”