Charlene Fairchild may have been born in Nova Scotia, but she found her home in the mountains of British Columbia.
Fairchild was the oldest of seven children whose father was a chief cook in the navy.
She would eventually spend 15 years in a little fishing community called Ketch Harbour before going back to university at the age of 37 to work on an honours BA in Political Science and History.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would live away from the ocean. I never lived more than three kilometres away from the ocean,” she said.
After a seven-year stint in Western Ontario, Fairchild made the move to B.C.
“I loved the people, but could not cotton on to the landscape. It was flat, with no trees.”
In 1995 she came to the Columbia Valley to visit family in Cranbrook.
“I woke up the next morning to the mountains and literally said to everybody that I was home.”
After that her family came to Golden.
“I hadn’t seen Golden before I moved here. I drove up through the valley and looked at the surroundings in amazement. I have never regretted moving here,” she said. “I look at these mountains every day, every hour, and there is something different to see,” she said. “Golden, from the time I moved here, was a funky little town. It is a hard-working town with so much heart. The people here are awesome, from the Golden originals, to the people who have moved here. There is so much cultural stuff. So much civic stuff to do as people could volunteer endlessly in this town.”
When it comes to volunteering, Fairchild works with many groups in town.
“I belong to the Golden and District Lions Club and a member in the Legion. I am a faithful church member and sit on their boards,” she said.
One of the newest things she has been involved with, is running the Twitter feed for the Golden Rockets.
“I love being involved. I love being useful,” she said. “Being involved with the Golden Rockets hockey team has been a gift for me. I always loved hockey. I have fallen in love with Junior B hockey. The passion and heart that these young men have is wonderful. Also the involvement that so many people have to make the Rockets work, along with the response of the fans to this team, has been phenomenal.”
Being able to write online has been a great experience for Fairchild who also writes stories and poetry.
“To produce something like that and have it go out into the world and affect people. Your baby is no longer your baby. It becomes everyone else’s, and whatever they take out of it, from what you have written.”
As for Golden, Fairchild has seen the town change over the years.
“When I arrived here it was the year before the ski referendum and just after the mill had been purchased. There was a feeling in the town of expectancy and hope that I sensed and loved. I still see that happening here,” she said. “There have been a lot of changes here. The cultural scene with Kicking Horse Culture, like the music down in the square is great.”
Fairchild said that even though the town has gone through some tough times over the years, she still thinks people will work through it together.
“The sense of community I have found in my life here has been the best for me. The relationships and family sense I get by living here.”