Mary Foote turns 104 years of age on Oct. 25, 2019. (Family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley senior recalls weighing gold dust in Barkerville

Mary Foote turns 104 years of age on Oct. 25, 2019, and spent her youth in the gold rush town

Mary Foote has seen B.C. grow and change in her 104 years.

Born Oct. 25, 1915, at Fort George (now Prince George), she’s lived in many communities around the province.

Raised with an older brother, Bill, and younger sister, Elizabeth, Mary and her family lived near Prince George until 1934, when they moved to the Wells/Barkerville area.

There, Mary helped run the family’s general store, C.H. Hughes & Son, selling supplies to miners hoping to strike it rich at Barkerville.

She remembers having to weight gold dust and nuggets which were accepted as payment for goods.

The first time she moved to Langley was decades ago when she and her husband, Bill Davies, farmed in Aldergrove where she was active in the United Church, Royal Purple, and school and community.

After Bill’s passing, she sold the farm in 1967 and moved to White Rock to care for her mother. In 1972, she married Darrel Foote, and they retired to Qualicam.

After moving to back to Langley to be close to her children and grandchildren in 1995, Mary became well-known for participation in the Gutsy Walk in support of those with Crohn’s disease and colitis. She took part in the walks at the ages of 99 through 103, and was believed to be the oldest participant in Canada. For her the walks were a way to show loving support to her granddaughter and grand-niece.

Last autumn, she moved into the Lions Housing Society’s Evergreen Timbers building. Though it’s assisted living, she’s still active on social activities and looks forward to attending Douglas Day ceremonies in November to see many old friends.


Mary Foote has been treated to various gatherings with family and friends in recent days to celebrate her 104th birthday. (Family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

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