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Still romantic - after Valentine's century

Richmondite Buck, 99, shares day of love with girlfriend of four years
Valentine's Day
Pat, 87, and Buck, 99, behave like childhood sweethearts, despite their advancing years and the fact they only starting dating four years ago.

One couple is proving that it is never too late in life to find love again.

Pat, 87, and Buck, 99, had their first date four years ago and they have been inseparable ever since.

"Isn't she beautiful?" lifelong Richmond resident Buck asks, gazing into Pat's eyes, a smile spreading across his face. "I love girls and this one especially."

They may have only been an item for the last four years however, the pair has known each other for more than 60 years.

They have shared cousins through marriage - his uncle married her aunt, and Pat's husband's cousin married Buck's sister - and have been friends throughout the decades.

Pat, who married into one of South Delta's prominent pioneering families, moved to Ladner from the Sea Island area of Richmond, where she was born and raised, in 1951.

Buck is a life-long Richmond resident, born right on the north arm of the Fraser River, he says, and his family had a long-standing farm where the Mayfair Lakes gold course now stands.

Both married and the two families (Pat has six children and Buck five) were friends. Buck regularly joined Pat's husband and other local men to play poker and Pat's family regularly swam in Buck's pool. Both lost their spouse in the 1990s - Buck's wife died in 1996 while Pat's husband died in 1999. The two families remained close and over the years Pat and Buck's children started to conspire to bring the widow and widower together. "It's something that's kind of been in the background since 2008," says Pat's daughter Burnie Smith.

The first date was in the works for almost two years before it happened on April 25, 2010. Buck's family arranged for the couple to have dinner together on the river along with some of members of their families.

The pair haven't looked back since. Buck still lives in Richmond but spends the better part of his weeks in Ladner with Pat. And with 100 Valentines Days under his belt, Buck is still a romantic. He enjoys reading poetry to Pat and often spontaneously breaks into song and sings a few lines to his love.

"I like to be with this lady here," Buck says, as they sit hand-in-hand in their Ladner kitchen. "He meets everybody," Pat says. "He's the most friendly person in the world."

Pat says she loves Buck's smile and sense of humour, both of which make frequent appearances.

And the pair share of love of film, frequently passing the time on the couch watching movies. Flipping through a scrapbook of photos from an Alaskan cruise the couple took last year with most of Pat's family, Smith says they are happy the two have found love and are able to spend this time together.

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