NDP MLA Bowinn Ma opened a member’s statement by setting the stage in 1933, on June 6. Simon Fraser Tolmie was premier, R.B. Bennett was prime minister, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and it was raining in Vancouver. Further into the scene, a baby was born. Later in her story it became clear — that baby was Ralph Sultan, now the senior man in the legislature, 17 years into his term as an MLA and turning 85 this coming week.
Last year he was the oldest person to be elected in B.C. history. Ma joked about a minor argument she and Sultan had and led the house in wishing him happy birthday. There are unconfirmed reports it brought tears to his eyes.