Jean Latval (left) and Elinor Turrill. (File photos)

Jean Latval (left) and Elinor Turrill. (File photos)

Lumby community pillars to be honoured with commemorative bench

GoFundMe launched to help raise $2,500 to memorialize Jean Latval and Elinor Turril

A fundraising campain has been launched to create a monument for two late pillars of the Lumby community.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched by Janet Green to help raise $2,500 for a commemorative bench to honour Elinor Turrill and Jean Latval. Both were longstanding community members who cared little for the limelight, instead preferring to focus on getting things done.

The community lost both members in the past year and a half; Latval passed away in August 2019 and Turrill in April 2020. The hope is the bench will keep them alive in memory for years to come.

Dubbed Lumby’s “volunteer extraordinaires,” Turrill and Latval served the community in myriad roles.

Turrill’s career story has many chapters: she was an Air Force veteran, a school board trustee and a licenced practical nurse. She worked for the Lumby and District Chamber of Commerce, the White Valley Community Resource Centre, the local Health Services Society and was at various times chair and director to the Lumby and District Senior Citizens Housing Society.

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Latval was a registered nurse who worked throughout B.C. before settling in Lumby. Rather than kicking up her feet upon retirement, she used the extra time to make her community a better place. Like Turrill, she served the local health and senior citizens housing societies, as well as the Lumby Thrift Store Society.

“Elinor and Jean worked quietly in the background. They did not pursue personal recognition or acknowledgement. They simply wanted to contribute to their friends and their community. They will be sorely missed,” said Green.

In addition to the online fundraiser, the Lumby and District Health Society is collecting donations directly and will issue a tax receipt for all contributions. A list of donors will be recorded and presented to the families.

“For 30 years they supported their community by serving on non-profit boards. They were not paid, but driven by dedication to make improvements to their community that mattered,” said Ev Reade, chairperson of the Health Services Society, in a public notice.

The bench has already been ordered, so funds will need to be gathered within the next six to eight weeks, according to Green.

An installation and ceremony date is pending changes to COVID-19 restrictions but is tentatively set for either National Volunteer Week (April 18-21) or Mother’s Day Weekend (May 6-10). Attendance may be limited, and dates will be confirmed by the beginning of April.

To view the GoFundMe webpage, click here.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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