By Dan Walton
After years of philanthropy in the valley, the Windermere Community Association agrees that retiring president Anne Picton deserves some special recognition.
“She’s always been there whenever we’ve been in a struggle,” said Windermere Community Association treasurer Karen Taylor-Browne. “We think of her as the wise woman who knows everything.”
Mrs. Picton, who has been a part of the association for more than 25 years, will be stepping down later this year after a triumphant legacy in the valley. Her years of community support will be commemorated with a gazebo in her name at the Windermere Community Hall.
Mrs. Picton and her husband immigrated to Canada from Britain in the 1960s. She spent years teaching in northern Alberta, before following her husband Ray when he got a job in the valley as an industrial arts teacher.
Upon relocation, Mrs. Picton became an English teacher, educating several generations of valley students.
A garden currently lays where the gazebo will be built, but the property needs a change, Ms. Taylor-Browne said.
In addition to constructing a gazebo, the Windermere Community Association also plans to refurbish their view of the lake with more foliage.
“It would be a really nice place for people to have a wedding, and you can view the backdrop of Chisel Peak,” she said. The new gazebo will be on the backburner during major renovations at the Windermere Community Hall. While the funds for the extensive upgrade have accumulated into the six figure range, priorities remain focused around the aging community hall.
“The hall is old and was built by volunteers, so it will be a challenge to come within budget,” said Ms. Taylor-Browne.
While Annie’s Gazebo awaits sufficient funding, a donation box (in the shape of a birdhouse) built by an Invermere student will be used to collect donations.
“The bird box will be on the move between the Windermere Family Pantry and the hall when events are going on,” Ms. Taylor-Browne explained. She says donors can record their name and address to receive charity receipts.
As of the Windermere Community Association’s annual general meeting on Saturday, April 6th, the club had accumulated around $400 for the gazebo, and will raise at least $6,000 for the project.
Mrs. Picton is often the reason why this newspaper isn’t riddled with errors, as she proofreads each week for The Pioneer. If you would like to support Annie’s Gazebo, contact Ms. Taylor-Browne at 250-341-3131.