We recognize and honour the following volunteers who passed away. They will be missed.
Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association remembers Ann Hotter, one of its most active, long-term volunteers and supporters. Originally from Gillingham, Kent, England, Ann moved to Canada in 1958 with a Diploma of Physiotherapy at King’s College Hospital in London and the proceeded to earn a BA in Physical Therapy from the University of Manitoba in 1968.
After a lengthy career at VGH and Holy Family Hospital, where she was Director of Physiotherapy, Ann applied her considerable energy and talents to VanDusen Garden as a volunteer in many different capacities for more than 20 years. Her contributions included being a Guide, Master Gardener, Plant Sale volunteer, and loyal donor. The Association thanks Louise Dyer and Dorothy Glover for their gifts in memory of Ann. VBGA offers its condolences to Ann’s family and all her friends. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by the VanDusen community. Ann passed away in February 2016.
On November 10, 2016, Vera Nixon passed away peacefully at the age of ninety-one. A graduate of the University of Toronto, Vera worked as a legal secretary before having children. She and her husband moved from Woodstock, Ontario to Vancouver to make their home here. Vera was a tireless volunteer who gave her time to the schools her children attended, Vancouver College and Little Flower Academy, and her parish. She started volunteering at VanDusen Botanical Garden in 1975 and lent her talents to the Library, Gift Shop and the Plant Sale. She was also a VBGA Board member and past President. For many years she was Captain of the Thursday Guide Team. Driving garden carts for the physically challenged brought her joy. In 2016, Vera was still volunteering as a guide and her vivacity belied her years. In fact, she led a group during the September 2016 volunteer orientation and they were captivated by her wonderful wit and depth of knowledge.
Joan Paterson died peacefully in her sleep on November 8. Born in Vancouver on April 30, 1935, Joan was an industrial artist and also an intrepid traveler having circled the world by the time she was twenty-six. A source of pride was her visits to over 120 countries, many on horticultural and botanical tours which she organized to places as diverse as China, Brazil, Turkey, Europe, North America and Great Britain. An enthusiastic volunteer, among her roster were: The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver Symphony Society, and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver. Joan was a longtime supporter of VanDusen Botanical Garden having joined the VBGA in 1976 and serving as a member of its Board. Joan was the 2nd Plant Sale Chair and a special events volunteer. Through her travel agency Joan organized tours all over the world as a fundraising program that she initiated for the VBGA. This globetrotting included organizing a trip to China in 1986 in the company of Garden Curator Roy Forster. Joan took a positive view of her years of volunteering at the Garden stating, “Where else could one work with such a congenial group of people?”
On November 4, Doyne Sillery passed away after over a year-long battle with lung cancer. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, his family moved to the United Kingdom when he was five years old. After serving in the British Army, he moved back to Canada in 1956 and to Vancouver in 1957 where he met his wife Doreen. Doyne worked for the City of North Vancouver from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. He was active in square dancing, boy scouts and was a lector/special minister at his church. Doyne was a favourite volunteer with the Intergenerational Landed Learning Project at UBC Farm working with children. In 1983, Doyne became a certified Master Gardener and later took courses in horticulture at BCIT. He started at VanDusen in 2002 and joined the Friday Guides, volunteered as a Teaching Assistant, School Program Leader, in the Library, and for special events such as the Festival Lights and Plant Sale. He deftly volunteered where needed with the VBGA through the years and had a passion for nature and plants. Doyne was a mentor, a friend, surrogate parent and surrogate grandparent to many.