Teresa Bird – Black Press
Pat Foster was bestowed with the Town of Lake Cowichan’s highest honour, Freeman of the Town, at the council meeting Sept. 15.
Foster was honoured for her many years of service to the community as a school board trustee, town councilor and other community involvement.
Foster has lived in the Lake Cowichan area most of her 73 years and in the home she shares with her husband George at the lake for 53 years.
“I raised my family and before my son left home, I decided to run for school board, and served on the board for six years,” says Foster who is the mother of three. “Then I ran for council and sat as a councilor for 15 years.” For many of those years she was deputy mayor and chair of the finance committee.
Foster was part of many projects with the council during her tenure, but she is particularly proud of bringing transit to the community.
“We had been 10 years without transit in the early 90s,” says Foster. Her parents had previously operated a taxi and bus shuttle service for the community, but when they retired no one took up the business, leaving the community without transportation to Duncan.
“Along with a few others, I played a lead role in getting a transit system in Lake Cowichan. We negotiated with Fletcher Challenge to pay for one bus trip a week for people.”
Foster retired from council seven years ago to care for her mother.
Foster also served on the board of Community Futures Cowichan for 22 years, including two seven-year stints as chair and vice chair of the Community Futures Association of B.C.
“They are such a great organization, I am really proud of the work they do,” says Foster.
Although Foster is now retired from public life, she has not stopped being involved in the community. She is very active with the museum, the Community Forest Co-op, and Communities in Bloom.
The Freeman of the Town is selected by the town council to recognize extraordinary service to the community.