Valemount resident Alice Olson, celebrated her 99th birthday on Friday April 8. /LAURA KEIL
Olson’s friends and family gathered around to celebrate her 99 years. /LAURA KEIL

Valemount’s oldest resident, Alice Olson, celebrated her 99th birthday last Friday surrounded by family and friends in her home and later at the Valemount Legion. Olson, a mother of 11 children, Second World War veteran, and one of Valemount’s longest continuous residents, recently became a great-great grandma. Of her six surviving children, five live in Valemount. In her living room, Olson smiled and shared humorous stories from when her children were young. “She’ll outlive us all,” said her daughter. Olson moved to Valemount with her husband and five oldest children in 1956. They soon purchased two village lots for $50 apiece and six months later moved into the house she still inhabits today on 6th ave. Olson recalled how, in the beginning, their water came via hand pump from a well located under the covered porch. Alice’s husband Pete worked in logging camps and local mills. Olson received letters of congratulations from the Prime Minister and retired astronaut Chris Hadfield. Her family says it’s already planning her 100th birthday celebration next year. /LAURA KEIL