A backbone of culture in Golden retires

Thelma Brown has spent six years working with Kicking Horse Culture before retiring in November.

Thelma Brown recently retired from her position with Kicking Horse Culture after six years.

A familiar face has recently retired from her position as office manager for Kicking Horse Culture. After six years of working with the group, Thelma Brown is looking towards what will come next for her.

Brown explained that when she was offered the position by executive director for Kicking Horse Culture, Bill Usher, she did not realize how big a part of her life it would become.

“I didn’t really have any idea, and the picture Bill painted to me about what I was going to be doing has ballooned far bigger than when I started,” she said.

During her time with the culture group there has been a constant expansion of what they do and where they work.

“Sometimes it was too big for me. I take my job very seriously and do it the best that I can,” she said. “I have loved it. I have grown and learned many things. It has been a wonderful job. If I were 40 I wouldn’t be leaving.”

Brown also shared some memories from her time with the culture group.

“We moved from a one-room office to where we are now. The Adventures and Settlers book reconnected me with the people who I had known since I was a small child. I was able to interact with the people who were so generous with their time. I think those involved honoured the community by doing that project,” she said.

Brown also spoke fondly of other events and developments over her years.

“The gallery being established, allowing local artists to put their work out there. It is a hard thing to do,” she said. “Also the Civic Centre rebirth. I was raised here and saw how the building has come back.”

As for Usher, he spoke of how when they had started together, they talked about leaving at the same time.

“We were supposed to go together, which of course has not happened,” Usher said. “For me, because she was born and raised here and I had come from away, Thelma could always give me that dose of reality. She would help me, and I would rely on that from her. Thelma knew who people were and that was something I learned from Thelma.”

As for her future plans, Brown said she will take some time before any decisions are made.

“I will take a rest and maybe then do some volunteer work. I want to stay involved in the arts. I will always be on the periphery for sure because this has been like having a child and watching it grow. Now it is going to be very hard to let it go. I will hang around in some way until I am too old to be of any use,” she said laughing.

Brown also wanted to thank Usher, who  gave her the chance to be a part of the work.