SUSAN SCHMITZ

What makes Fernie special to you?

I am proud to say I have roots in Fernie going back to the early 1900’s.   My grandparents, father myself and my children have all been raised here.  Our roots are deep and that is special to me.

Having been born and raised here, Fernie is special to me.  Fernie was a great place to grow up.  It was small enough to know most everyone in town.  Doors didn’t have to be locked and whole neighbourhoods of kids played together.  You knew the milkman, the store clerks, and the post office workers all by name.  they also knew you.  So you knew if you misbehaved, your parents would hear about it!  We went to school for 12 years (no kindergarten in town back then) in the same building which is now Fernie 901.  I attended the “curse” lifting with all its pomp and ceremony.  I always looked forward to the Labour Day celebrations and participating in the annual parade.  I skied Fernie Snow Valley when it first opened.

Fernie’s location in a valley surrounded by such majestic mountains also makes it special to me.  I never tire of the view of the Three Sisters or of showing someone the Ghost Rider that has never seen it.  There is such history in this valley, in this wonderful town, in this place I call home.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Having been born and raised in this beautiful country, I am very proud to be Canadian.  I am proud and thankful to live in a free country.  A country in which I feel safe and secure.  I am free to speak, free to worship, free to stand for what I think is right.

I am proud to live in a country of opportunity and diversity.  I love this country’s vastness, its natural beauty and especially the splendor of the Canadian Rockies.  We get to enjoy four full seasons with nature at our doorstep, fresh water and fresh air.

As Canadians, we all have access to education and universal health care.  We really do have a great standard of living.

I am proud that Canadians are friendly and of course we have a reputation for being polite!  When we as Canadians travel abroad and tell foreigners we are Canadian, they welcome us.  Canadians are respected and loved around the world.


What is your Fernie story?

I was born and raised in Fernie.  My family have been in the valley since the early 1900s, having immigrated to Canada from England to work in the mine at Coal Creek.  Mining was a dangerous profession and both my great grandfather and a great uncle were killed in mining disasters in Coal Creek.  My father and his siblings were born and raised in Coal Creek.  The family moved to Fernie from Coal Creek in the 1940s.

My family has always been involved in the community.  My grandfather was a city alderman and served on the hospital board.  My uncle was also a city alderman and served on the school board.  My sister served for many years on the school board and I am very proud to say she was Fernie’s first female mayor.

My husband and I chose to live here, to work in our chosen careers and to raise our family here.  A lot of our extended family was here which was important to us when raising our children.  We were all a big part of each other’s life.  Fernie has always been and will continue to be home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *