Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard Paid Tribute to Ruth Masters in the Legislature. You can watch the video here or read the transcript below.
It is with a heavy heart that I rise today to honour a true friend of British Columbia. Ruth Masters passed away yesterday at the age of 97. She was born in 1920 at the new hospital in Comox, and with her veterans’ land grant, she lived until the end in the house that she and her family built.
Ruth joined the women’s forces and served in London, surviving the Blitz. After World War II, she began her project to immortalize local Comox Valley men lost in the war. She named lakes and landmarks in B.C.’s Strathcona Park after them. She was so prolific, she was capped at 50 names.
Growing out of her love of the mountain wilderness and wildlife was a passion for protecting the environment. She used her skills and connections as a legal secretary to protect important local spaces like Hollyhock Flats in the Courtenay River estuary and Seal Bay Park.
Ruth was not afraid to run into the front lines many times after she retired — in front of the saws to save Macdonald Wood, on the blockades on Meares Island, and getting between trophy hunters and wildlife. Her one regret was that she was never arrested.
A few years ago she donated as parkland 18 acres of her property, Masters Greenway, on the fringe of the city of Courtenay where flora and fauna flourish and where people can come and nurture that love of nature.
Ruth was a great mentor to me and many others in the community. She lived a very modest life and provided such an example of generosity of spirit that she grew a loving family of friends who took great care of her in her final years when she needed the help. She loved and was well-loved. She was a great model for generations of us, and she will be missed.