Charlene Fairchild only arrived in Golden in 1997, but it’s fair to say that she has enjoyed her time here enough to consider this her new home.
“I just love this community, it’s a funky little town and it’s got a lot of stuff going on,” she said. “It just works.”
Fairchild grew up as the eldest of seven children in Nova Scotia. Her father, who served in the Navy, wasn’t home for her birth. In fact, he didn’t hear of the good news until much later.
“He was tied up in Havana harbour in Cuba when I was born,” Fairchild said. “He didn’t get the telegram until three weeks later when his ship pulled into Hamilton, Bermuda and he called home.”
With so many younger siblings, and with her father frequently away, Fairchild had to help her mother and took a motherly role in the family, especially when it came to her four youngest siblings, all of them boys.
“It was interesting,” she laughed, referring to her large family. “It was a busy, busy life and it was hard on my mom with my dad out to sea…but she managed, she was a tiny little woman but she was a trooper.”
After high school Fairchild went into nursing school in Halifax where she earned her certification in nursing. Around that time she met her first husband and started a family.
While raising her kids, Charlene continued to work part-time as a nurse, but eventually she was able to take a leave from nursing after the birth of her third child. She eventually returned to school and studied at Dalhousie University where she studied history and political science.
“I loved that, that was the best thing that I ever did for myself,” she said.
While at school, Fairchild had a piece on terrorism published in a Dalhousie journal and earned an A+ average. Just before finishing her degree, Fairchild moved with her second husband, (a clergyman and now her ex-husband) to Southwestern Ontario. Unfortunately, Fairchild was unable to finish her degree in Ontario, but hopes to return to school and earn her last few credits eventually.
Her exes’ job later brought her to Western Canada and she fell in love with the mountains and the scenery.
In Golden Fairchild has volunteered with the Royal Canadian Legion and the Lions Club, as well as the Women’s Resource Centre. Perhaps her biggest passion, however, is her involvement with the Golden Rockets. She coordinates the Rockets’ social media page on Facebook as well as its Twitter handle and watches every home game from her spot in the press box at the arena.
Fairchild grew up in what she calls a passionate hockey household, but her passion for Canada’s game was only recently re-ignited when she watched the 2010 Olympics.
In addition to her passion for the Rockets, Fairchild is an avid Vancouver Canucks fan and participates in online discussions and debates on a Canucks fan site. Despite Vancouver’s recent struggles and the trade of her favourite player, Roberto Luongo, Fairchild remains committed to her team.
“I have doubts whether they will make it to the playoffs (this season) but I have hopes for the next year and the years after,” Fairchild said.
Most of all, however, Fairchild remains committed to Golden and can’t envision moving back to Atlantic Canada.
“It’s like living in a postcard,” she said.