Langley senior’s long service to community earns PNE award

Marion Dixon was honoured during Seniors Day at the PNE

Marion Dixon, who volunteers at Food and Friends at the Brookswood Seniors Centre, had a snake draped around her neck at one of the seniors gatherings which include special guests such as a reptile expert. (Marion Dixon photo)

Marion Dixon admits she’s slowing down now that age has crept up on her.

She’s been so busy all her life that she’s never stopped to think about the march of time but now at 82, she’s admitted she can’t do as much as she used to. It’s her three decades of ‘doing’ in this community that earned the attention of those who awarded the Extraordinary Senior Award at this year’s PNE.

“Out of 100 people, they picked me,” Dixon said. “I was overwhelmed.”

What surprised her the most about winning the award was the reaction from perfect strangers.

“I had people, while I was sitting… come up to me to say congratulations,” she said.

She found out she would receive the award about a month ago.

Dixon recalls how months ago while volunteering at the Brookswood Seniors Centre Food and Friends gathering that someone said she was going to nominate Dixon.

“We laughed and went on our way,” Dixon said.

Others recognized the hard work and dedication she’s brought to her adopted home.

Born and raised in Montreal, she learned the value of service to others from her father, who died when she was 13. She had to leave school to support her family, and worked as a typist, a server, and a model.

“I started volunteering when I was about 16 years of age back in Montreal,” she added.

She moved to Langley about 30 years ago to be closer to family and was a single parent. Many people may know her through Marion’s Lunches, as her cooking at the Langley Lions Evergreen building became well-known.

Dixon remains active with the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

“We are so proud of her and the years of service to seniors that she has contributed. She is so dedicated to ensuring that our seniors have positive experiences,” said Bonnie Hartup, president of the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

Dixon has been helping at the centre since the start of the Meals on Wheels Food and Friends program with Hartup noted “some months we serve over 100 meals.”

Retirement Concepts, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. are behind the award which was presented to Dixon on Aug. 22 as part of Seniors’ Day at the PNE.

“It’s important that we recognize the impact one incredible person like Marion can have on their community,” said Alzheimer Society of B.C. CEO Maria Howard. “Her dedication to keeping seniors social, happy and healthy is a gift to those around her and a mission the Alzheimer Society of B.C. shares.”

“For the second year in a row, we find ourselves with an Extraordinary Senior Award recipient who embodies everything we imagined the award would be when it was created last year,” said Retirement Concepts’ representative Jennie Deneka. “Our heartfelt congratulations and thanks go out to Marion, and to the dozens of nominations we received from around the province.”

“It’s a great honour to once again host the Extraordinary Senior Award on Senior’s Day at the PNE Fair,” said Shelley Frost, PNE president and CEO. “Seniors’ Day is a great way to give back to the seniors in our communities and allow them to enjoy one of the most historic events in our province. All of us here at the PNE would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s extraordinary senior Marion on her incredible win and want to thank her for all she does to support seniors and residents in the Langley community.”

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Marion Dixon, second from the right, was given the Extraordinary Seniors Award at the 2019 PNE. Presenting the award were K.C. the PNE mascot, PNE president and CEO Shelley Frost, Retirement Concepts’ Jennie Deneka, and Alzheimer Society of B.C. CEO Maria Howard. (PNE photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

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