Recent History – 2003
June 25, 2003 — By Kelly Harris, Daily News Staff
If there is a plant, flowers or someone reading around Dawson Creek, Dorothy Fast may well have had something to do with it. A driving force behind both Dawson Creek and District Horticultural Society and Friends of the Dawson Creek Library, Fast was given honorary lifetime memberships to both groups Tuesday.
“I joined the horticultural club eight years ago so (I) could learn from the experts,” said Coun. Marilyn Belak, president of the almost 70-member horticultural society.
“I’ve learned many things including carrying a large purse.”
Belak joked that by carrying a large purse and a sharp knife while on walks she could grab clippings from shrubs around the city and transplant them into her own garden.
Fast is currently in Dawson Creek and District Hospital recovering from a stroke. Fast joined the Friends of the Library in 1989 and served as the group’s treasurer from 1990 to 2002. She was part of and encouraged friends to join the arts council, with which she supervised projects including Food and Nutrition Week, Western Days with cowboy poets and the production of a pair of Women of the Peace videos. Fast also organized second-hand book sales through Friends of the Library at Walter Wright Pioneer Village, allowing tourists to stock up for their trips.
“No matter what the Friends of the Library undertook, Dorothy was there energetically promoting and helping promoting and helping to organize the project,” wrote local historian Gerry Clare in a tribute to Fast.
The gardens on Fast’s Bear Mountain home are a tribute to her passion for gardening.
“She has a theory that if the plants aren’t growing you just speak to them sternly,” Belak said. “She could make anything grow.”
Aside from several positions with the horticultural society, Fast helped spearhead the demonstration gardens project at Pioneer Village. She arranged funding though local businesses for the 10 gardens planted at Pioneer Village when it opened in 1991.
“She organized the first Garden Tour and Tea in our area, now a very popular summer event for garden lovers,” Clare wrote. “The Diamond Jubilee Garden at the Art Gallery was Dorothy’s way of celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Horticultural Society.”
Fast also helped plan the Annual General Meeting for the Alberta Horticulture Association held in Dawson Creek in 2002.
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.