Patricia Annette McLaren
Born In: Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Born: December 4th, 1925
Passed on: August 14th, 2012
Pat was born in Cardiff, Wales of Welsh parents. She was educated first in Cardiff and then at Rickmansworth Boarding School near London. There she was taught to play cricket and lacross, and became a Prefect.
She chose a career in Physiotherapy. She enrolled at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital at Oswestry in 1943, to study first, orthopedic nursing. This plan was subsequently modified by the arrival there of her future husband, Bill McLaren in 1944.
The McLarens commenced their family of three sons, in London in 1947 with Andrew, while Bill studied surgery, and then in Scotland, where Pat's second son Ian was born in 1950.
A move to the New World - Vancouver, took place in 1951. During the next year, to stretch the budget, Pat occasionally worked as a cleaning lady.
In 1952 the family moved to Kamloops to Tranquille Sanatorium, where Pat spent a very happy time raising her family, augmented by a third son, Niall, in 1953. The next year, they began the lifelong project of the Shuswap summer cottage.
Pat willingly became involved in many local organizations and projects. After the family moved into Kamloops, the Auxiliary to the R.I.H. claimed much of her time. In 1962 she convened a Round up barbecue, held out at Shady Hollow on the Clement's Cherry Creek ranch. It was a great financial success.
Pat was one of the founding members of the Community of Arts Council of Kamloops in 1967. She helped organize concerts and art displays. In 1973, along with Julia Metra and Ted Leitch, she helped organize Arts in the Park. After six years of growth under her helm, the Arts Council awarded her the council trophy for achievement in 1979.
In 1975 she received from the Premier Dave Barrett and the Provincial Secretary, a Certificate of Appreciation for her outstanding contribution to the success of the B.C. Spring Festival.
Pat was an accomplished skier, and took her first stage as a ski instructor. This was their favorite sport and she did encompass the thrill of Heli Skiing.
She was a wonderful hostess and a gourmet cook. She delved into painting and pottery when she had time. She was devoted to her husband, sons, daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren, all of whom gave her endless pleasure.
It was therefore a great sadness to them all, when in 1996 a stroke took away nearly all her speech and memory. Happily for Bill, she retained her great sense of humor.
Surviving is her husband of 66 years William; sons Andrew, Ian (Celeste) and Niall (Dawn); grandchildren: Craig, Brent (Christine) and Tricia; Mackenzie, Kimberly and Kirk; (step-grandchildren) Kristin and Alyse (Jason); great grandchildren Jasper; (step great-grandchildren) Josie and Libbie. In London, UK, she is also survived by her brother Denis (Jean) Taylor and their sons Simon and Gavin, and seven grand nephews & grand nieces.
There will be a Celebratory Gathering at St. Andrews on the Square. Date will be announced in this column later.