Volunteer Spotlight: Lorna Watkinson Zimmer


Bowden Institution, Alberta 


"In 2014, I received a call from our Mayor's wife telling me that I could expect a call from Carol Finlay about a book club at Bowden Institute. She had put forward my name, along with another former teacher and a retired United Church minister (three women who share a strong sense of social justice). I didn’t know what to expect, but when Carol called, I accepted!

"So in 2015, Diane, Fran and I began a monthly book club at Bowden and have been there for the past 3 years. Fran tells everyone that it’s the highlight of her month, and both Diane and I agree.

"We have seen trust, respect, empathy and relaxation grow in our Book Club sessions. Some of the members have been with us since we started. They have been good at including new members with patience and acceptance. Some of our long time members have even become comfortable enough to begin sessions with ice breakers, quotes, or in the case of one member, books similar to what we were reading for that particular night. One member even brought in his own photo book on the subject - it was one of the liveliest sessions we have had.

"I have so many favourite books. But one that really spoke to me was 'The Golden Spruce' by John Valliant. I am already a tree hugger and a raging environmentalist, and this book alarmed me! The wilful destruction of the forest tore me up. Yet the beauty of the area, and the Indigenous respect for the tree and the natural world, brought home to me how precious our natural world is and how desperately it needs our protection."


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