A new tree, planted at the Fernie Heritage Library last week, will blossom this summer in memory of Wilda Quail, a women who dedicated her life to helping others.
The Quails have been prominent members of the Fernie Rotary Club for the past 50 years, which is why the club thought it appropriate to plant a tree in Wilda’s name. The family has also been in Fernie for several generations.
The Library was chosen as the spot for the tree because of Wilda’s love for learning and children. Rotary member Evelyn Cutts remembers Wilda as being full of life and always eager to help out.
“You always wanted Wilda to sell your raffle tickets or your 50-50 tickets because you could not say no to her,” she said.
“She was a dynamo right up until she died.”
Rotary members were pleased to both meet their goal of planting a tree this year and to honour Wilda at the same time.
Wilda’s husband Doug said she would have been overjoyed to know that she would have a tree planted in her name, beside one of her favourite spots in town.
In her lifetime, Wilda completed two degrees and loved educating the younger generation.
“I’m sure she would be very pleased that they planted that tree for her,” he said.
The spot selected in the library garden was also appropriately close to the lot that Doug donated to the City to be used as parking. After the Quails sold their hardware business, he thought it a necessary addition to the growing downtown core.
“Mom loved children,” said daughter Sharon.
“Seeing all the kids there, playing, having their readings.
At the church, mom was an ambassador of lollipops. Even at 90 she ensured that all the kids at the church, every Sunday, had lollipops.”
“They called her the candy woman,” added Doug.
For many years Wilda worked with Red Cross and was also president of the seniors group that looked after residents at Rocky Mountain Village.
Every Christmas, she would buy 50 gifts and distribute them to the seniors, whom she also taught aerobics. Wilda was also a prominent member of the Lions club. “She was very active in the community,” said Doug.