For Sherry Nielsen, Fort St. James is home and has been for the last 47 years.
Nielsen moved to Fort St. James from Prince George. With her husband, son and a baby on the way, she instantly felt at home in the Fort.
“We thought it was nice and small. People are friendly and everyone watches out for everyone,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen joined the Stuart Lake Hospital Auxiliary as soon as she arrived in Fort St. James.
“I didn’t know anybody and thought it was a good place to be. You can put in as much time as you like and the one thing about the auxiliary is that it’s something for everybody,” Nielsen said.
The Stuart Lake Hospital Auxiliary is a non-profit society dedicated to providing volunteer support service and financial assistance for patient care and comfort.
“The auxiliary has a great group of women who are always willing to help everyone. And the community has always been so supportive of us,” Nielsen said.
But when Nielsen arrived in 1969, there was no hospital in Fort St. James. “The auxiliary really helped push the need for one,” she said.
The hospital finally arrived in 1972.
“It’s funny because I had one child in Prince George, one in Vanderhoof and one in the new hospital here,” Nielsen said.
After having raised three children Fort St. James, Nielsen and her husband are now very proud grandparents of four grandchildren.
For Nielsen, volunteering is her passion. She has also been dedicating her time to Pioneer Place Seniors Centre in Fort St. James since 1994.
And as for the auxiliary, she continues to work closely with her fellow members as its 50th anniversary draws near in November, 2016.
“I enjoy being able to help. It’s an area that helps everyone. Everyone needs health care at some time in their lives.”