Where are you originally from? And how many children and grandchildren do you have?
I was born in Hull (now called Gatineau), Québec. Once married, I moved around quite a bit: Québec to Ontario and then west to Edmonton in 1970 with four daughters under 6 years old. I added a 5th daughter in 1986 and my first grandson was born in 1989. In 1998, we moved to Halifax and six years later we headed to the Middle East. In the meantime, seven more grandchildren came along, with our latest granddaughter born this in July.
What brought you to Fernie?
After more than six years in Qatar it was time for us to retire. Our daughter Annie and her family were living in Fernie. Since all the children and grandchildren where mostly out West, we thought Fernie would be a nice place to live and visit all the family members. We also liked the ability to join the FNS family and help any way we could.
When did you start cross country skiing?
I did some cross-country skiing in Jasper, Banff and Kananaskis while living in Edmonton. When we moved to Fernie in 2011, Annie’s family was very involved in the Fernie Nordic Society. Our three grandchildren participated in the Skill Development Program, and later on were on the Race Team. Once we moved to Fernie, I took the beginner coaching courses (on-snow and the dry land) and did assist/sub for some ski lessons. We also participated in the Teck ski races throughout the Kootenays to help the Race Team and to earn points for the Kootenay Cup, which we won 4 times!
What do you love about cross country skiing?
I love the idea that cross-country skiing is the best exercise to keep you in shape. I love the peacefulness that comes with that and love that this is a family sport. This is something both my husband and I love to do together!
Do you prefer classic, skate or both styles of Nordic skiing and why?
I do enjoy both styles of skiing and I’m very grateful that we have the choice of a more demanding terrain as well as a flatter course. The golf course offers that last option for all of us older people who are trying to improve our skate ski skills. But don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge of the hills at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. That’s where I practice my classic ski techniques or just go for a leisure ski.
Aside from Nordic skiing, what other hobbies/passions do you enjoy?
Up until now I have been an avid gardener (both vegetable and flower). However, now I want to be on the road with our new RV named “La Belle Carmen”! It allows me to wallow in my other passion: knitting! My husband enjoys driving “La Carmen” while I knit to my heart’s content! The RV gives us the freedom to visit our families down east and all the way to Vancouver Island. I also enjoy reading fiction, biographies, anything knitting and listening to knitting podcasts.
What drew you to becoming involved with the FNS as a Director?
I was involved with the membership, one way or another, since our move to Fernie. I helped Annie laminating the cards along with the distribution. When the club moved to plastic cards, I also helped to print them. Once Annie moved away, Sam Sedlowsky took over this responsibility, but I continued helping until Sam stepped down in 2019. At that time, I officially became a member of the board as I took on the director hat.
Now, I’m grateful for Laurie who came out and volunteered to take on this position.
Who is your favourite Director? … Trick question 😉
Every member of the board is a special, hard-working person! Of course, I do have a penchant for our Treasurer/webmaster/helper wherever he is needed … who happens to be my dear husband.
What will you miss the most about your Membership Director role?
I will miss being on the board. I loved sharing all my ideas, meeting and greeting our members by their name. I also loved chatting with those who need help entering information in Zone4, especially when I recognized I could speak French with them! A definite bonus!
Even though I’m stepping away from my role of Director of Membership, I’m still involved with the newsletter. I do enjoy sharing my ideas with our newsletter volunteers and with the help of my subcommittee we are always on the lookout for new sponsors.
Although I started the 50+ Mellow Mountain Rangers group aimed at motivating our ageing population to stay active, I wouldn’t mind passing the baton to someone with ideas and energy to spare!
Interview by Alisha Rella
Edited by Susan Partridge