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Cultural Development Committee presents Welwoods with Special Citation

From left, City Councilor Jesse Woodward, Astrid Heyerdahl of Touchstones and Ron and Frances Welwood during the recent Special Citation presentation in council chambers. Missing, Nelson Mayor John Dooley. — Photo courtesy Dorothy Fraser

The City of Nelson and its Cultural Development Committee presented Nelson residents Ron and Frances Welwood with a Special Citation in recognition of for their lifetime work in preserving, promoting and documenting Nelson’s history during a ceremony recently in council chambers.

Ron Welwood sat on the City of Nelson’s Heritage Committee for almost 20 years, compiling three heritage brochures for the City:  Walking, Motoring and Cemetery, in addition to writing numerous articles on Nelson for BC History Magazine.

After arriving in Nelson in 1969, he became immersed in the area’s heritage/history as the University Librarian at Notre Dame University of Nelson and David Thompson University. In this role, he immediately commenced to amass a collection of Kootenaiana, as print and non-print resources of the region were not being collected and preserved in one location. After DTUC closed in 1984, this inventory was transferred to the Nelson Public Library and the Nelson Museum Historical Society, and he continued to collect as the Librarian at Selkirk College from 1984-2000. These collections are accessible and continue to be a valuable resource for researchers.

Frances Welwood was on the Board of Directors of the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society (Touchstones Nelson Museum) for more than 20 years, and is an accomplished historian, writing many articles for BC Historyand local news media. In the early 1990s, she began to research the life of Annie Garland Foster for a Nelson Museum exhibition, “The Women of Nelson, 1880-1950.”

An early woman graduate of the University of New Brunswick, Garland Foster was the first woman elected to Nelson City Council in 1920. Frances spent nearly two decades painstakingly researching and gathering the details of this enigmatic woman’s life, publishing her full-length biography of Foster, Passing Through Missing Page, in 2011.

Both Ron and Frances are active volunteers, leading walking tours showcasing Nelson’s history to locals and visitors. For almost 30 years, they have regularly attended the British Columbia Historical Federation conferences as Touchstones delegates, enthusiastically promoting Nelson and its vibrant and diverse history.

The Welwoods have contributed greatly to the preservation of the history and heritage of Nelson and it is the City of Nelson’s pleasure that they be jointly recognized with this Special Citation for their years of service.