Diana Mary (Livingston) Filer was born in Vancouver, B.C. “a long time ago”, she says. At 84 years young, Diana’s signature quick sense of humor and feisty personality has endeared her to residents and staff alike at Legacy Senior Living – The Leo Wertman Residence.
It’s Thursday afternoon, 3:00 pm at Legacy’s Ash Street Bistro lounge, a time set aside each week for a resident social time with tasty nibbles, cocktails and good conversation. Mixologist extraordinaire, Giorgio Castiglioni, serves up the usual orders of wine and beer while Diana orders a cocktail that you have to know another language to pronounce much to Giorgio’s delight.
Diana’s love of languages, communication and knowledge on world events comes as no surprise for this world travelled retired Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) executive. Upon graduating in French and philology from UBC, Diana did graduate work at the Sorbonne and the Institute Britannique in Paris.
Diana’s broadcasting career began in 1961 with the CBC in Vancouver as a program assistant, rising to Executive Producer in radio before transferring to television. Her last accomplishment in radio was the creation in 1975 of a Science program which the CBC had never considered airing before. Quirks and Quarks is still on air after 42 years.
In television, Diana produced a nightly local current affairs show for the news program “24 Hours” for two and a half years before returning to radio as Head of Variety.
In 1983 Diana was named Director of CBC London, a posting she held for 3 years before returning to Canada to become the Corporation’s Director of International Relations for six years. She retired to her home in Vancouver in 1993.
Diana continues to be an active member of the community and has served on several boards including Ottawa Ballet, Performing Arts Lodges of Canada, Writers’ Trust of Canada, Michener Foundation, Music in the Morning and BC Hall of Fame.
In May of 2016, Diana made the decision to move to Legacy Senior Living. The decision didn’t come easy for someone as active as Diana, however, sometimes life gives us a change in course.
“My son Rory, had actually just voiced to me his concerns about my having scatter rugs in my home stating they were a tripping hazard. As it turned out, he was right,” said Diana.
Diana suffered a broken hip as a result of her fall and although she recovered well, the incident prompted her to consider other lifestyle options versus continuing to live on her own.
“When it’s time, it’s time,” she stated. “I was fortunate in that I recovered from my fall. Others are not as lucky. After seeing my son and his wife looking after ailing relatives for 15 years, I did not want to place that responsibility on my family.”
“I like the ‘resort like’ atmosphere and the fact that there’s lots to do including exercise programs seven days a week”, added Diana.
One of her favourite occupations is a stimulating conversation on current affairs of the day. From time to time Diana can be seen engrossed in dialogue over a quiet lunch with a friend, some of notable public acclaim such as award winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, David Suzuki and Honourable Pat Carney.
When asked what this well-travelled and accomplished lady is most grateful for at this point in her life journey, Diana responded, “Every day I am grateful that I am still alive, am reasonably content, don’t have any major physical or mental ailments and have the love of great friends and family. The most important thing I know to be true is you’ve got to have a positive outlook on life, your happiness depends on it.”