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Saluting a heavenly Golden Girl

It's Golden Girl time on the Coast. And no, this isn't letting the cat out of the bag.

It's Golden Girl time on the Coast. And no, this isn't letting the cat out of the bag. If you want to find out who the Gibsons Landing Heritage Society has chosen as this year's honouree, you'll have to be in Lower Gibsons this evening (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. or read next week's Coast Reporter (preferably do both).

Actually, the real objective of this column is to honour a stellar woman who was never given the official title of Golden Girl, but certainly personified everything the title infers.

When Louise Hume died on June 10, she left a community touched in many ways by her sheer tenacity.

She began the adult day care program in Gibsons and Sechelt. And, as anyone who has ever had a loved one who needed to be out and about with his or her peers can tell you, that service is invaluable.

Louise loved beauty. And in the 1990s she decided it was time to spruce up Lower Gibsons. Those of us who love the ambience of Gower Point Road, with its lovely wide sidewalks framed by flowers galore, and Winegarden Park, the jewel by the sea, have a hard time remembering the way the area used to look.

When I moved to the Coast in 1993, the street was awash with myriad overhead power and telephone lines. It was almost as ugly as some of the backwater streets you see in Latin America.

But Louise and the believers of the Gibsons Landing Business Association knew there was beauty waiting to be discovered. Not surprisingly, the revitalization drew a lot of ire. Folks were sure the business community had breathed the last in Lower Gibsons and that tourists witnessing the paving and building would never come back. How fortunate that the plucky woman turned a deaf ear. For her efforts, Louise received a golden shovel from the Town of Gibsons. Well deserved, I say.

Louise was always concerned about others. She was fighting for access for those whose mobility is challenged long before handicap rights came on the radar for most of us. She walked the Lower Gibsons area pointing out areas that needed improvement. For her it was not 'us and them' it was always 'we'.

Louise was passionately interested in the arts. As a young woman, she had been a member of the famed Elgar Choir of British Columbia. The choir performed throughout Canada, Europe and Asia. She had a wonderful voice and a life-long love of music. At her memorial on July 14, Chelsea Sleep and her chapter of the Coast String Fiddlers paid their respects in the way Louise would have loved - with boisterous, beautiful tunes.

She supported the arts on the Coast in many ways.

Louise was one of the founding members of the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival. Knitting was her bag and it was unusual to see her without a pair of needles in her hands. I think I missed her most when I came upon her colleagues knitting up a storm on the annual knit in public day. Somehow it just didn't seem right without her.

Louise was a long-time member of the Gibsons United Church, and up until her illness prevented it, she was an active part of the environmental team at the church. She was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Gibsons Legion Branch No. 109.

In and amongst all those wonderful things, she was a woman with a great sense of humour. She liked to laugh and did so frequently.

Along with many others, I miss her a lot. It tickles me to imagine God fitting her for the ultimate Golden Girl sash. She earned it.