HELEN MILLIGAN

What makes Fernie special to me?

Fernie is everything that is special to me.  It’s the City where my five children happily grew up.  The people of Fernie welcomed us when we arrive in 1970. When we registered our children for school, the custodian greeted us at the door booming: “Come on in! That’s what we like to see, more kids!”  That welcoming remark stayed with us over the years.  My late husband Tony and I loved this city from day one.  We became part of the community, and I still feel very much part of Fernie today.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

I am an immigrant.  I never felt more proud than on the day I became a Canadian Citizen.  My husband, because of his birth in Canada, and my children were already Canadian Citizens – not me!  I had to go through the process of becoming Canadian.  I am very proud to belong to Canada.


What is your story?

My husband Tony and my brother-in-law John were both born in Timmons, Ontario but their Scottish parents moved the family back to Scotland when the boys were very young.  John later came back to Canada in the 1950s.  He telephoned us regularly urging us to come to Canada but we often had to reply: “Sorry, can’t right now, there’s another baby on the way.”  Eventually, after the fifth child arrived, we decided to make the journey from the West Coast of the Scottish Highlands to Fernie, where we have had a wonderful life to this day.  I have done my best to participate in the life of the community having, over the years, been a member of the Library Board, a member of the Fernie and District Hospital Board, and a School Board Trustee.  I love Fernie and its people!