Monday, August 18, 2008

Ex GPKer Update

Hi Marty - Thought folks might like to catch up on a former parker now in BC.
Best Gus

Hi Marty,

Some of your readers will remember my mother – Marty Richardson who for many years lived in our family home on Murray Avenue. In the mid 90’s mom’s health was failing, but her greatest wish was to remain in the home that she loved. In order for her to do so, major renovations were required to that dwelling.

I traveled back to the Park and spent 6 weeks helping mom with the details that would render her house more “user friendly” and adapted to her needs. We were fortunate to secure the assistance of old friends Gordie Hamblin and Red Drummond, but renovations cost money and we needed to secure a small mortgage, drawing on the equity represented by the property. I understand that many of your fellow residents of the United States have come to understand the concept of remortgaging to access equity, but that’s another story.

It had been years since I had done any banking in Quebec, and mom had timidity about bankers not uncommon to those of her generation. I think it was during a casual conversation with Donnie and Arabella Bremner that it was suggested that I approach Deborah St James at the TD bank in Greenfield Park. Gordie Hamblin also said that she had a good reputation in the area, and was in fact a long-time resident of Greenfield Park. Consequently I overcame my native Montrealer’s natural disdain over anything named for Toronto, and went into the bank.

What a treat! On that day mom and I met a gregarious, competent, cheerful and caring banker. Deborah arranged a mortgage that met all of our needs, did so with the minimum of fuss and in so doing also befriended mom. Their contacts endured until mom’s passing – and she always placed personal concerns over those related to business. Mom delighted in her company – now there is a phrase you won’t often see written about bankers!

Deborah Tite (back to her maiden name) and her partner Herman have lived near Vernon in the Okanagan Valley for the past few years. They have a beautiful home overlooking Kalamalka Lake, and Mavis and I spent a delightful evening with them on August 16th. Deb has an executive position with the Bank of Montreal (in my view that’s an upgrade) that allows her to work out of her home office when she isn’t covering her massive territory throughout the interior of British Columbia.

She tells me that she reads the Blog regularly, and like many of us expats, enjoys fond and positive memories of her old hometown. It was a special place in which to grow up; and Deborah continues to value the town and her many friends and family there. She is a woman full of energy, quick with a quip and fast with a favour. She has a generosity of spirit that has helped her settle into her new environment and flourish. It is fun to know she and Herman, and to recognize the joie de vivre that surrounds them in the west. Appending a photo taken yesterday.
Best as always – Gus

Many Thanks Gus
Great story

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