1942 - 2023
Gertrude led many lives, reinventing herself a number of times. Common to all of them were boundless energy, discipline, and endless creativity. After taking the art world by storm she shifted to social activism, then to environmental protection followed finally by singing and dancing.
Born and raised in Victoria, she ventured south to the University of Washington for a BA and MFA in art. She then joined the vibrant Skagit Valley arts community in La Conner, Washington while commuting to her job as Curator of Design at UW's Burke Museum. Her first show of paintings at Seattle's Foster White Gallery, titled "Interstate 5", was a huge success. Practically the whole show of 6' x 6' paintings were bought by the Washington State Dept of Highways. This was the beginning of a highly successful and much publicized 12 year career. In 1985 she moved to Los Angeles in search of new challenges. She learned Spanish and eventually created a community TV show where she interviewed Kris Kristofferson among other celebrities objecting to US foreign policy in Central America.
1992 marked a return to Canada where Sandy Hook in Sechelt became home for the remainder of her life. Learning that the 55 acres of Crown Land behind her house was about to be clearcut by Interfor, she rallied the community to write 128 letters to the Ministry of Forests – a record for a single clearcut. Her perseverance finally lead to the full protection of the Sechelt Heritage Forest in 1997. That experience helped her in 2000 when she joined two other activists in the fight for the much larger Hidden Groves which was again destined for clearcutting by Interfor. After an 11 year battle it finally won protection from the Community Forest as a recreation reserve.
Hardly idle during this period, she submitted the "Inland Seaside Corridors" proposal to the province as well as creating an Angus Creek stream monitoring group called "Spawn to be Wild" which eventually convinced the DFO to amend the water license for protection of salmon.
In 2012 she filled the whole of the Arts Centre with a retrospective of her art called "This Wonderful World". She was an avid dancer at the Coast Academy of Dance as well as a member of three choirs. After a nine year struggle with Alzheimer's she finally found peace on January 19th, 2023.
She is survived by her husband, Michael Davidson, and cousins in Victoria and Vancouver.
In lieu of a service consider a visit to the well-illustrated memorial of her remarkable life: https://www.tinyurl.com/GertrudePacific