Posted on 12 September 2012 by Keith Lacey
Ruth Schiller said everything she has accomplished in life is due to the people and friends she has made in the Town of Osoyoos over the past 70 years.
“I would be nothing without the Town of Osoyoos,” said Schiller Monday morning, moments after being honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, presented to her by former Canadian Olympic ski champion and longtime Senator Nancy Greene-Raine in the town’s council chambers.
“The people and friends I’ve met here have always kept me grounded. I really and truly believe that this place is special.”
Council chambers was filled with more than 20 friends, family members and fellow volunteers who have worked with Schiller over several decades as she worked tirelessly on numerous community-building projects and volunteered with several community organizations.
Greene-Raine applauded Schiller for dedicating a large part of her life to volunteering her time and energy into making Osoyoos a better place to live.
“This place used to be nothing more than a whistle stop for the railroad,” said Greene- Raine. “Now it has become one of the most beautiful places to live and visit … thanks to people like you.”
Schiller is one of the true pioneers in Osoyoos’ proud history. She is a founding member of the Osoyoos Arts Council and has been a longtime member of the B.C. Arts Council and served on the national board for the Canada Council on the Arts. She is a founding member of the Osoyoos Desert Centre. She also helped organize the first cafeteria for children attending Osoyoos Secondary School.
She also played a pivotal role on the Osoyoos Museum Society board of directors for many years.
She is also a proud and loyal member of the Liberal Party of Canada and has attended every national Liberal Party convention for almost 50 years.
Having many close friends and supporters in attendance, including her son Fred and his wife Wendy, made being honoured with the Queen’s medal so much more memorable, said Schiller, who also received the Queen’s Silver and Gold Jubilee medals for her tireless community work.
Mayor Stu Wells said Schiller has been directly involved in so many community projects over the years it’s hard to keep track of and she is very deserving of this prestigious honour.
“I want to congratulate and thank you for your many contributions to our town,” he said.