Twenty-eight years ago, Anne Beare and her husband moved into 115 Place Co-op in Burnaby, relocating from North Vancouver. They had friends in the co-op and when they came to see them they liked it and decided to apply. “We saw that it was really nice and of course when we moved in it was very inexpensive compared to regular apartment blocks.”
They also learned it was a volunteer-run community so they stepped up to volunteer.
Anne’s husband Tommy passed away in 2015. “He really loved it here.”
In the years that Anne has lived in the co-op first with her husband and now on her own, she’s volunteered for “practically every role,” serving on the board, the membership committee and helping with move-in, move-outs and security. Anne also runs a small shop in the co-op where they sell “a lot coffee and cookies,” dishes, small appliances and other items people can’t use, using the funds they raise to support co-op activities. But most importantly, “It’s really interesting because I meet a lot of members and it keeps everyone in touch. It’s the greatest place for me because I enjoy people.”
As well as volunteering for the co-op, Anne has volunteered for Life Line, helping many of her elderly neighbours over the years.
“This virus really curbs my activities because I do like to visit people and have people around.”
But even though she’s had to close the shop, she hasn’t stopped being social.
“I’m always on the phone,” Anne say, laughing. “I have a lot of friends here, wonderful wonderful friends, four of them, and outside friends as well. I am fortunate. I must say I am very lucky. I am the luckiest person in the world!”
Anne is honoured to receive a Century of Co-operation Award. “It’s the biggest surprise of my life I tell you – I was never so shocked when they told me – I thought they were kidding. Who knows what these girls are going to do to me? I was flabbergasted!”
Anne Beare is a 2020 winner of our Century of Co-operation Awards that celebrates long-time co-op members whose age plus their years of living in a co-op community equals 100 years or more.