Our special little tree was purchased by Bea Dezell in the 50’s and was used to celebrate Christmas with the Brownie packs in Prince George.
After the Brownies, the tree was used by the PG Weavers and Spinners at Studio 2880 for several years and then was sold in a garage sale and bought by Shirley Gratton.
The tree re-surfaced at her garage sale and the Festival of Trees committee, led by Shirli-Gene Sadowick, decided that this little aluminum tree had a history that required preserving.
Christened Bea’s Tree it was decided that each year at the Festival of Tree’s Gala Auction evening, the little tree would be sold to the highest bidder.
Winners are able to display and keep the tree through the holiday season. It is then returned to the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, for use again at the next year’s Festival of Trees. Winners receive a commemorative photo and special ornament and have their story added to the history of the little tree.
Bea’s Tree has become part of the family tradition of the Prince George Festival of Trees.
Sadly on March 6th, 2014, Bea passed away at the age of 105 in hospice after a decline in health during the previous month.
Born July 7, 1908 in North Vancouver, the second of three children to Robert and Mabel Hendrie. Predeceased in 1972 by her husband Garvin who owned much of his business and political success to her support and intelligence. She lived her life helping others and was a great role model for her and her extended family. Her ability to overcome adversity and her constant optimistic outlook gave us all something to strive for. She was an active member of this community as a Girl Guide Leader, a member of the Royal Purple and, in her later years, a strong supporter of the White Cane Club and the Canadian National Institute of the Blind. Her positive attitude and use of technology even after the age of 80 allowed her to read and communicate in spite of her visual impairment. She was a great help to others who were struggling to cope with visual and hearing difficulties.
She always enjoyed her membership of and friends in the Good Cheer Club. Her ability to make friends of all ages was phenomenal. One of her favourite sayings was “A party is as good as a tonic”. Her response to any question from the family in her last years was “just Google it”
I think you will agree that she was one very amazing and special lady.
We are so pleased to let you know that the tradition will continue, and in addition to Bea’s Tree, for 2014 year only, following a gracious donation by the family, we were able to offer “Bea’s Treasures”, to the successful bidder at the Gala Fundraising Auction Evening.
We are eternally grateful to the family for sharing Bea and her giving spirit with us. She will forever hold a special place in the Spirit of the North’s fundraising efforts to bring the best of care closer to home in the North.
Since 2004 Bea’s tree has raised $111,650 as of 2014 Festival of Trees.