You can’t look very far without finding an organization in Ladysmith that has been touched by Pat Edge.
An active and dedicated volunteer, Edge, who passed away June 29, is being remembered for her passion for helping others, particularly seniors.
Edge was instrumental in starting up the Seniors Office at the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA).
“Pat became really involved in it when she took on the role of being the go-to person for seniors and seniors programming,” said LRCA executive director Dennis Lait. “She was at the centre almost every day. She was a model volunteer — you couldn’t ask for a better volunteer because of her commitment to what she did and to seniors.
“What I think about Pat is she’ll be missed at the Resources Centre, and it’s been a tremendous loss for this community and seniors in particular with her passing.”
While Edge did all this work, her husband Gordon was always by her side, and often Edge received recognition for her work, but her husband wasn’t mentioned, noted Lait.
“We found that Pat was one of those people who didn’t want to take the credit for everything she did,” he said. “When that recognition was identified and shared as recognizing her contribution and her husband’s, that was one of the greatest pleasures she could get.”
In August 2010, Edge’s leadership and experience working with and for seniors were recognized when she was appointed to the National Seniors Council for a three-year term. The National Seniors Council provides advice to the federal government on matters related to the well-being and quality of life of Canada’s seniors, and only 12 members are appointed.
“Pat’s knowledge and experience dealing with seniors was second to none,” said Lait. “You might be able to categorize her work with seniors as being a passion.”
Edge volunteered for the Community Policing Station since its beginnings in 1997.
She was an active volunteer until 2011, serving with Citizens on Patrol for seven and a half years and with Speed Watch for three and a half years, as well as working one half-day a week in the Community Policing Station.
“She was very giving,” said Audrey Ballegeer, the volunteer co-ordinator with Community Policing, who knew Edge since she began volunteering. “She was a very likeable lady, and how to describe somebody like that is very hard. We’ll miss her, that’s for sure.”
Edge was named Community Policing Volunteer of the Year in 1998.
“She gave of herself quite freely,” said Ballegeer. “She was just a special lady.”
Ballegeer says Edge enjoyed the social aspects of volunteering with Community Policing, and she brought people skills and the ability to deal with anybody who walked through the door in a kind manner to her work. Also, Edge was always “on top of everything” when it came to referring people to resources in the community, she noted.
“She brought herself here to Community Policing as a kind and compassionate person and brought her people skills,” said Ballegeer. “She was a great lady.”
Edge was also a long-time member of the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary.
“She was involved in so many things in the community,” said auxiliary president Lil Kroll. “It’s a tremendous loss.”
Edge was born Oct. 6, 1932, in Prince Rupert. Her family moved to Calgary two years later.
Edge met her future husband while in Grade 12, and she and Gordon married in Calgary in 1953. They were married for nearly 55 years and had two daughters.
The Edges retired to Ladysmith in September 1995, and they both quickly became involved in their community through various volunteer positions.
Edge was a member of the Old Age Pensioners Branch No. 9. She and her husband helped Meals on Wheels, and Edge was a member of the Ladysmith Probus Club.
Edge received many accolades and awards, including the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Volunteerism in 2002. She was named Ladysmith Citizen of the Year in 2006. Most recently, she was named as a Fellow of the Canadian Payroll Association in 2011.