Pat Waver put her head in her hand as she watched Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day usher in her family, who’d been waiting outside of the regular town council meeting on Sept. 27. Weaver had been at the meeting with Pat Foster to present to council on the Kaatza Station Museum, but council had other ideas in store for the long-time community steward.
“What did I do now?” Weaver asked.
It’s more like, what hasn’t she done over the years?
“It’s an extreme honour to be here to present this to you tonight and it’s probably worthy of having a party so everybody could share the history,” began Day. “I’ve had the honour of knowing Pat for almost 30 years now and know that she’s been involved in almost everything. I can only go back about 30 years and I know it’s been way longer than that.”
As he stood beside her, Day listed off the roles Weaver has taken up as a volunteer over the years: being a member of town council, a three term-CVRD director, a member of the elks for 20-something years, chair of the Lake Days Society for many, many years, member of the Heritage Society, member of the Kaatza Historical Society, member of the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative, member of the Cowichan Lake and District Chamber of Commerce… the mayor trailed off before Councillor Kristine Sandhu carried on, adding Cowichan Lake District Skating Club, and a school trustee to the seemingly never-ending list.
“The list goes on and on,” said Day. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to get them all if I tried. You know what, that’s just way, way more than the average person does for their community as we just want to acknowledge that with you here tonight, and we invited some of your family, as a new Freeman of the Town.”
Weaver was shocked to hear the words, and almost speechless.
“Thank you so much, thank you so much,” Weaver said taking the plaque. “Wow!”
Councillor Tim McGonigle said he’d had the pleasures of working with the both Pats (Weaver and Foster) in many facets of the community over the years and called them “two of the hardest working women in the community, volunteering for everything at the drop of a hat.”
McGonigle told the women: “Giving more than taking is the epitome of volunteerism and you both epitomize true volunteerism and we appreciate it.”
Sandhu said when she was first elected in 2005, she sat between Weaver and Foster “and they were mentors to me not just of the fellow councillmen but just as a resident of the community who cared about the community and you guys both taught me a lot.”
It was a special and meaningful event, however unexpected it was for Weaver.
“It was very touching,” the mayor later said. “She was and still is the heart and soul of so many community organizations.”