Elizabeth Plumtree

Plumtree, Watson honoured for lifetime achievement

When Nellie Watson turned 90 her friends sang the Scottish song “Keep Right on to the End of the Road.”

When Nellie Watson turned 90 her friends sang the Scottish song “Keep Right on to the End of the Road.”

“And that’s what I hope to do,” said Watson to a standing ovation after being honoured along with Red Deer’s Elizabeth Plumtree with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 9th Annual Women of Excellence Awards Gala on Wednesday night.

Watson was recognized for her decades of volunteer work with the Brownies, Olds College, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Central Alberta and 4-H, among others.

Her mailing address may say Eckville, she said, but she is a proud resident of the Everts district. About 40 km west of Red Deer, it was once a significant village and the only stopping point between Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House, added Watson, who has been deeply involved in collecting the history of the area in two books.

The Everts Ladies Community Club — of which she is a chartered member — is still going strong after 67 years, she said in her speech at the Sheraton Hotel Red Deer.

She thanked all of those who have helped her over the years, including her family and late husband of 69 years.

“My motto has always been, if you believe you can, you’re halfway there,” she said. “By gosh, I’m almost beginning to believe that,” she said to laughter.

Plumtree was honoured for her many years of community work, especially her decades associated with Cronquist House. She and husband David were among the dedicated group that saved the historic home and oversaw its move to Bower Ponds in 1976.

“I’m absolutely amazed. I’m really thrilled,” she said, shortly after picking up her award. She was also honoured in the arts, culture and heritage category.

Plumtree and her husband came to Canada with two children from Nottingham, U.K., in 1973 and, besides a short 10-month stay in Toronto, have lived in Red Deer since.

“We came from a big city and moved to a small town of about 30,000 people. I wondered where on earth my husband had brought me to,” she said.

“We settled in and we started volunteering. I find that volunteering is the best thing you can to make friends and do work in the community.”

Her many years at Cronquist House have been memorable. One day the phone rang and she was asked if she wanted to have Hockey Day in Canada at Bower Ponds. Another time, the caller was from the Soviet embassy in Ottawa asking if she would like to host a touring company of Ukrainian dancers at a time when that county was part of the U.S.S.R.

The awards are organized by the Red Deer and District Community Foundation. Red Deer Advocate is presenting sponsor.

Other award winners include:

Agriculture: Jennifer Blair

Arts, Culture and Heritage: Elizabeth Plumtree

Athletics, Recreation and Fitness: Monica Morrison

Business and the Professions: Dr. Katherine Atchison

Community Building: Kelly Tibbets

Education and Training: Kathleen Finnigan

Entrepreneurship: Melanie Warren

Environment: Blayne West

Health and Wellness: Cherilynne Purpur

Human Services: Beverly Keeshig-Sonnias

Young Woman of Excellence: Poshika Dhingra

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau to meet potential bridge-builder Pallister during cabinet retreat

WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today with the least… Continue reading

Two-vehicle collsion near Penhold

Sunday collision blocked intersection

Rising inequality eroding trust in capitalism – survey

DAVOS, Switzerland — Rising income inequality is undermining confidence in capitalism around… Continue reading

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

LONDON — Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to… Continue reading

Extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou begins today in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A court hearing begins today in Vancouver over the American… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Former 1,500 specialist Elmore likely Tokyo-bound after breaking marathon mark

When Malindi Elmore reinvented herself as a marathon runner a year ago,… Continue reading

Canada’s Shapovalov upset by Fucsovics in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost a lengthy four-set match with… Continue reading

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

LONDON — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected… Continue reading

‘Parasite’ parties, Leo greets young fans inside SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen… Continue reading

Hikers rescued after frigid night on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.

COQUITLAM, B.C. — Five hikers stranded on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.,… Continue reading

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX completed the last big test of its… Continue reading

Canada’s Jeff Smith wins way back to PDC pro darts tour via qualifying school

WIGAN, England — Canadian Jeff Smith has won his way back to… Continue reading

Most Read