Ruby McBeth: Celebrating Freda, saying farewell to Glenn

WI Woman of the Week

Freda Mertler was born Freda Welch in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Some excerpts from the WI book 100 Women of the British Columbia Women’s Institute 1909-2009 show her interesting life:

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“During World War II Freda met John Mertler and they married November 3,1945. In January, 1947 Freda and three-month-old baby Margaret traveled to Canada on a week-long journey on a former troop ship crowded with war brides and children … The family moved to Lakeview near Dawson Creek … Freda joined the local WI … Later they moved to Pine View near Fort St. John to the soldier’s grant John had received … She joined Pine View WI there in 1949 and in 1955 became a member of North Pine … She was elected as a Director on the provincial Board for two terms, from 1964 to 1968, became provincial president in 1968 and was re-elected in 1970 … The Mertlers retired to Fort St. John to a seniors’ complex across from long time friend, Hazel Framst.”

Freda’s daughter, Margaret Little, followed her mother in service to the community as a leader in advocating for seniors’ housing in our area.

Seniors Club update

Jim Vandewark, vice-president of the Seniors Club, now has responsibility for the club following the resignation of president Chris Lamoureux. Chris was also chair of the bingo committee. During her time in office, bingo money was used to buy a new refrigerator, a defibrillator, a new sign, cooler compressor, and to pay instructors for line dancing, yoga and a safe food course.

Chris will be a hard act to follow. A new president will be elected at the next annual general meeting, date not yet determined.

Farewell Glenn Thompson

Lorne and I were saddened to hear of the death of Glenn Thompson. Lorne first met him when they took flying lessons. In retirement we would see him in the Walmart coffee shop. Although I did not know him myself, his smiling face is there when I hear his name. Our condolences go out to Glenn’s family. He will be missed.

Trio of favourite singers

Anyone who enjoys Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, or Linda Ronstadt will want to see these women interviewed about their history together.

And, of course, they sing for us. 

Quote of the week

“Music is such a great healing balm and a great way to forget your troubles.” – Ricky Skaggs

Ruby McBeth is a community columnist and lives in Fort St. John. 

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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