Olalla’s Auntie Doll, who turned 101 on May 16, sits with Keremeos Village Coun. Sherry Philpott-Adhikary. She celebrated her birthday Monday with a party held by the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. (Submitted)

Olalla’s Auntie Doll turns 101

Week-long celebration kicked off Monday with a birthday bash

Olalla’s Auntie Doll is celebrating another trip around the sun; recently celebrating her 101st birthday.

Last week, 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.

READ MORE: Olalla’s Auntie Doll’s memories of early life in Olalla

“It was sort of a surprise because it turned out so great,” said Barber when asked how it went. “It was a nice party.”

Longevity is no stranger to her family. Her sister Rose 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.

A week-long celebration for Auntie Doll wrapped up with a big family reunion last Saturday.

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.”

Barber 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 kids (two boys and two girls). She has six great-grandchildren and just the other day, she got a brand new great-granddaughter, she said.

“I just lived my life. I feel good.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


Robin Grant
Reporter, Penticton Western News
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