Olalla’s Auntie Doll is celebrating another trip around the sun — it’s her 101st birthday on Thursday.
On Monday, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band threw a birthday party for Dolly Barber, who has lived in the Okanagan-Similkameen for most of her life. People from all over joined the celebration.
“It was sort of a surprise because it turned out so great!” joked Barber when asked how it went. “It was a nice party.”
Longevity is no stranger to her family as she had a sister, Rose, who lived to be 103 years old.
“I’m feeling pretty good about it. Everyone can’t get over how well I look. They said 40 years ago, I looked the same.”
Surrounded by friends and family, Barber enjoyed delicious food and a birthday cake with her photo on it. She enjoyed herself and even gave a short speech, thanking everyone for coming.
Tasty food, birthday cake and good company weren’t the only things.
After lunch, the roughly 75 visitors got the party going by playing Disco Bingo. Everyone sang along with the oldies and goodies and prizes were given out to the winners.
Monday kicked of a week-long celebration for Auntie Doll that wraps up with a big family reunion on Saturday night.
Born in 1918, Barber grew up on a ranch north of Olalla and spent much of her life around horses.
“We had cattle and part of my work was with horses and riding and looking after cattle,” she said. “That’s where I was happy.”
The now Penticton resident said she still loves horses to this day and remembers what good companions they can be.
“It’s surprising to find out just how close you can get with them. They are real pets and they understand you. It’s quite a different thing than just looking at a horse.”
Barber had one son, Reg Barber, who lives in Penticton. He had four daughters. She has five great-granddaughters and just the other day, she got a brand new great-granddaughter, she said.
“I just lived my life. I feel good.”
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Reporter, Penticton Western News
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