VALLEY SENIORS: Wilma Walker brings giving spirit to Port Alberni

Walker enjoys her volunteer time in the Alberni Valley

Wilma Walker is a longtime Alberni Valley volunteer with Community Policing. She is well known for her teaching career as well. (PHOTO COURTESY ORLANDO DELANO)

Wilma Walker is a longtime Alberni Valley volunteer with Community Policing. She is well known for her teaching career as well. (PHOTO COURTESY ORLANDO DELANO)

BY ORLANDO DELANO

Special to the AV News

The Alberni Valley is blessed with hundreds of volunteers who day after day give their time to assist their fellow citizens. This fact is seen in people of all ages, especially senior citizens who contribute so much to the well being of others.

Wilma Walker is an example of a giving spirit in our community. Among others, she has been involved in various organizations to provide support to their peers.

Wilma, who has lived in Port Alberni for several decades, was born in Saskatoon to grain farmer parents (with a backup beef cattle), and attended a one-room school for Grades 1–8.

“I believe that all children should experience life on a farm,” she says.

Upon completing Grades 9–12 at a large high school in Saskatoon, she went to teachers’ college. “After college I went to Carrot River in northern Saskatchewan and taught there for one year.”

In search of new “greener pastures,” as she puts it, life took her from Saskatchewan all the way to the West Coast. “What happened is that I attended one year at the University of Saskatchewan and while there, my girlfriend and I decided to apply for teaching positions in BC….we chose three communities where one of us or both of us had a relative….just in case! We were both hired in Port Alberni. She left after one year. I’m still here!”

Wilma’s first job was at Cherry Creek Elementary, a position she held for nine years. During this time her daughter was born so she decided to resign and stay home with her.

But when her daughter was in full time school, Wilma went back to teaching, first, by substituting, and later in 1980, by getting a teaching position at Eighth Avenue School, which she held until her retirement in 2003.

“I found myself quite at a loss for things to do by about October 2003. I happened to notice an ad in the newspaper by Community Policing for office people. I popped in the Third Avenue office [since closed] and filled in an application. I started immediately.” A year later she joined the Sunshine Club because “I wanted to partake in some of the wonderful trips they had available.”

Her involvement in the Sunshine Club has become quite extensive ever since. Throughout all these years, she has worked in the club office, held the positions of Mahjong director, membership director, as well as a member of the executive for one term.

“I am still a member and I continue taking part in some of the fun activities of the club. I have met wonderful people there. I hope we get back soon!”

Her disposition to give her time and assist others, went beyond her duties with the Sunshine Club. She also volunteered in the Canadian Cancer Society office and helped out at a pre-school at Eighth Avenue School.

About 2011, Community Policing opened up an office at the Harbour Quay. As a strong supporter of the value of this organization, Wilma decided to rejoin the organization by partaking in a few different tasks. She continues volunteering there.

Currently, she is also a spare for the Friendly Phone Service–phoning seniors and shut-ins two or three times a month to check on their wellbeing.

Also, for several years Wilma has been giving her time on the committee for the annual charity golf tournament at Alberni Golf Club, an event that takes place every July, by working with the silent auction coordinators of this fundraising event.

Gerry Fagan, who has volunteered along with Wilma at the cancer society, Community Policing and the golf classic, recently stated: “Wilma is one of the most dedicated and reliable volunteers I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last several years.”

“Volunteering is not only a benefit to the community but is good for the wellbeing of the volunteer. It beats sitting at home and you meet the best of our society,” says Wilma.

Port AlberniSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Port Alberni’s community policing office at Harbour Quay was closed down in 2018. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni’s community policing office at Harbour Quay was closed down in 2018. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Just Posted

A Viking Air Twin Otter takes off midway down the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Jan. 13, 2021 during a series of training flights. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
New plan recognizes industrial strengths of Alberni Valley airport

Strategic plan identifies AVRA as Vancouver Island’s premier industrial airport

A piece of artwork from Port Alberni artist Jim Sears. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artist shares watercolour images of the coast

Rollin Art Centre holding a garden clean-up on April 18

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Parhar picks up win in Partner with a Pro

Next Sunday, April 18 is a two man best ball

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

Legendary broadcaster Bernie Pascall is among in the Class of 2021 to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. (PQB News file photo)
Island broadcasting legend Bernie Pascall named to Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Pascall named by Football Reporters of Canada as inductee in the 2021 class in the media category

A Sooke man died Tuesday afternoon after his car left the roadway in 7500-block of West Coast Road around 1:30 p.m. and hit a tree. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke man dies when car slams into tree

The man’s SUV left the roadway and struck a tree

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read