It’s fitting in this the Olympic year that Lorraine Goddard is the 2012 Gibsons’ Golden Girl. She epitomizes what the award stands for. Since 1962, Goddard has volunteered for no fewer than 10 organizations and has been elected to political office, including mayor of Gibsons.
And if that isn’t enough to make you take notice during those years, Goddard was also mothering five children and running successful businesses. Yet she said, with the modesty typical of her compatriots, “I didn’t expect I’d ever be chosen as a Gibsons’ Golden Girl, so it came as a complete surprise.”
The Goddards came to Gibsons in the spring of 1962 when husband Ken was transferred here with work. The move was made with three children ages four, two and two weeks. The family was complete the following year when twin boys were born. Lorraine remembered those days as hectic.
“I didn’t even leave the house for three months. A lady from Madeira Park gave me her twins’ stroller and she said, ‘If you can survive the first 18 months, you’ve got it made,’ and she was so right!”
As to why Goddard got involved in so many organizations, she has a quick answer.
“In every instance it was because someone asked me. I respond well, but I don’t initiate things. I think it’s because of the way I was brought up,” she mused.
Goddard became mayor at the urging of Larry Labonte, the late well-known Gibsonite. She was alderman (the equivalent to the present day councillor) then.
“At the time Lorne Blaine was the mayor. He was reaching the end of his term and wanted to travel — who could blame him? — but as deputy mayor that meant assuming a lot of responsibility when he was away. So I thought I might as well have the name if I’m going to have the game,” she said.
She served until 1984 when the challenging financial times dictated she find a job that paid better.
Her association with many of the present and late Golden Girls goes back a long way. Many of the women have children the same age as hers. And over the years she got to know most of the others through personal friendships and serving in the same associations.
Through her business and organizations such as the Sunny-crest Mall merchants and the Gib-sons Chamber of Commerce, she got to know fellow Golden Girl Mary
Cook, a former store owner in Lower Gibsons. Two paintings by talented Golden Girl Vivian Cham-berlin hang in the Goddard home and Goddard cherishes memories of boating with Chamberlin and her late husband, Ray.
The best part of being named Golden Girl was the warmth the other Golden Girls welcomed their latest member with, Goddard said.
Goddard has had an eclectic range of volunteering over the years. She’s been a trustee with the St. Mary’s Hospital Society. For seven years she was director and then chair with the Community Futures of the Sunshine Coast. From 1999 to the present she’s served with the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives. And from 2001 to present Goddard has been a big part of the board of the Gibsons’ Seniors Society.
One of her fond memories from the years as mayor was meeting a man from Ladysmith “who blew me away he was so with it.”
He was 70. “I thought 70 to be so old,” she laughed.
Goddard actually retired when she was 70. Her only regret was leaving the CGA chartered accountant program one credit short of the designation. But that never stopped her from a satisfying career with many local companies, a woman with an amazing past and a stellar future — a true Golden Girl.