Ann Northrup lives in Langley and recently returned to the Vancouver Aquarium where she volunteered for many years.

Former aquarium volunteer returns for special visit

A Langley senior recently visited some aquatic friends.

Ann Northrup is truly a B.C. girl.

A native of Vancouver, Ann spent summers on her family’s island, surrounded by water and nature.

That passion for nature showed itself in decades of volunteer work, including 23 years with the Vancouver Aquarium as part of its ladies auxiliary.

Ann led educational tours and helped care for the animals, building unforgettable relationships with seals and beluga whales. Ann also performed in an aquarium seal show alongside her son, Rob.

Ann left the aquarium in 1991 but was able to recently return, accompanied by her son.

The nonprofit Wish of a Lifetime Canada partnered with Chartwell Retirement Residences to give Ann a special birthday wish.

“I was on seventh heaven, still at about six and a half right now. I couldn’t believe how changed the aquarium was,” she said after the visit. “It was truly awesome; I got lost completely. It was just super.”

Ann’s emotional return to the museum started with the Beluga and Porpoise Show, followed by an up-close encounter with one of the belugas.

“The staff [at Chartwell Langley Gardens] has never seen her smile so much,” said Danielle Axton, who works at Chartwell and accompanied Ann on her wish. “In the end she was able to feed a beluga and she got down on her knees to do it; she was running on adrenaline.”

It was Northrup’s return to what could only be described as her second home. The 77-year-old had volunteered at the aquarium for 23 years, putting in more than 10,000 hours and building bonds with the animals with which she worked.

At 50, she was part of the effort that rescued, housed and rehabilitated a young sea otter after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

Her room at Chartwell Langley Gardens is covered with photos and albums of her time at the aquarium.


Just Posted

Langley chamber joins call to kill ‘no pipeline ever’ law

Bill C-69 will hurt the local Langley economy, Chamber warns

Young Langley family plagued by angry cab customers

A couple rents a house formerly used by a cab firm, and unwelcome visitors knocking.

Woman groped on Langley’s 208th Street

Police are asking for tips to identify the man responsible.

PHOTOS: Family Day a success at Aldergrove Telephone Museum

A record number of people visited the Telephone Museum on Monday to tour the historic exhibits.

Fort jazz fest on the search for young talent

Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is looking for their first “Rising Young Star.”

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Most Read