(Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance) Albert Langla and Sandra Reams are the Langley Seniors of the year 2017 and their first official act was cutting the cake at the Seniors Week celebration June 1.

Seniors of the Year begin reign as Langley ambassadors

Each year a senior woman and man who contribute to the community are named Seniors of the Year.

Sandra Reams jokes that her official duties as one of two local Seniors of the Year 2017 will require her to practice her ‘royal’ wave.

Albert Langla joked that being the male Senior of the Year for Langley won’t change him.

The pair were officially introduced into their new titles at a celebration June 1 at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre as a kick off to Seniors Week June 1 to 7.

Langla has volunteered at the seniors centre for more than seven years, taking on various roles including gardening, maintenance, pruning, vacuuming, sweeping, planting and more.

“Because Albert is someone who goes out of his way to help in any way that he can, he is also often found helping clean up after our monthly events, set-up and take down at our annual community garage sale, and break down of boxes at our bi-annual shredding event,” said Paul Goldberg, the centre’s executive director and the person who nominated Langla.

He’s been married to Barbara for 63 years and did road work and truck driving for the City of North Vancouver for 35 years.

“Albert is known to LSRS staff as having an incredibly kind heart and gentle soul,” Goldberg added. “he explained that the reason he and Barbara stay after the special events to help clean up is because the event volunteers work so hard and deserve to go home as soon as they can.”

Langla is also known for helping friends and neighbours at the Langley City complex where the couple lives. He takes a neighbour with MS to Ambleside Park and helps with his chores.

“I was shocked. I really didn’t expect it, you know,” Langla said about being named Senior of the Year.

Reams has gained a reputation as the scone lady. She lived in Michaud House and welcomes the public to enjoy the Langley Heritage Society historic property. During the annual open house, she bakes countless scones to help raise funds for charity.

But Reams has her hand in so much more. She is the “canning mentor” for the Langley Environmental Partners Society, is part of the gleaning program that collects ripe produce so it doesn’t go to waste, supports the Langley Arts Council, is a longtime artist, and is an original member of the Langley Gogos, which raises funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

In addition to being active at the seniors centre, she’s involved in her church community and supports You’ve Gotta Have Friends, a local group devoted to inclusion.

Reams was nominated by longtime friend Pat Wiebelzahl with You’ve Gotta Have Friends.

“Overall I would say that Sanda is a doer, master networker and connector,” Wiebelzahl said. “… She is a good person.”

Reams said she was touched by that simple phrase “good person” and “It is nice to be appreciated.”

She added that she’s just one of many deserving seniors who add to the community.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity to represent seniors that are involved and active,” Reams said.


(Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance) Seniors of the Year Sandra Reams (in green) and Albert Langla thanked the people who nominated them. Pat Weibelzahl (left) with You’ve Gotta Have Friends and Langley Seniors Resource Centre executive director Paul Goldberg.

(Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance) The 2016 Seniors of the Year, Don Kelley and Peggy Schafer, chatted with Sandra Reams who is the 2017 Senior of the Year, along with Albert Langla.