It is with sadness that I share with you, the Valley Concert Society community, news of the passing of Lorna Keith on Tuesday, March 7. She was living in Edmonton and slipped away peacefully at the age of 93 with family at her side.
Lorna had been the longest serving president of the society. She will be remembered by many of you as the face of this organization over many years.
Lorna joined the Board of Directors in 1993 and was elected president in 1997. She served continuously in that post until her retirement in 2014. She was a conscientious and committed leader, always taking care to ensure that the business of the society was handled correctly and effectively.
Lorna graduated from UBC with a degree in microbiology and enjoyed a long career working as a technologist in health care. She was involved on various boards in the areas of health, education, social services, the arts and gardening. Her involvement in so many other organizations served the society well as her varied contacts proved beneficial in recruiting new board members, bringing on new sponsors, and building productive connections in the community.
A special interest of Lorna’s was music. Besides her involvement with VCS, she sang with the Bel Canto Singers and as a chorus member with Fraser Valley Stage Productions of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Among her many accomplishments with the Valley Concert Society, Lorna initiated the society’s endowment at the Abbotsford Community Foundation. Upon her retirement, the board renamed it the Lorna Keith Endowment Fund for Music in her honor. This initiative has led to other valuable involvements, the most recent of which is the society’s management of the Beth Nickel Memorial String Award through the Foundation.
The Valley Concert Society has benefited immensely from the wise and capable leadership with which she served both the organization and the community. We remember Lorna for her dignified stage presence and her well-spoken addresses at concerts. Our fondest memories are of her warm smile and kind words. She is missed.
Our thoughts are with her family as they grieve her loss. A memorial service is being planned for some time in June in Abbotsford. I will keep you informed as I learn the details.
John Wiebe - President
The Valley Concert Society