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Chree, Anna

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Chree, Anna

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Dates of existence

1907-2002

History

Anna Chree was born Anna Sass on August 3, 1907 near Vienna, Austria. Her father Danylo emigrated to the north end of Winnipeg in 1910, with the rest of the family following in 1912. Anna graduated from business college in Winnipeg in 1924, and then worked at a variety of secretarial jobs in Philadelphia, Toronto, Timiskaming, and Montreal. Her longest held position was eight years with the Canadian National Railway.

Anna arrived in Vancouver in June 1937. After World War II she also spent some time working in London, England, at Canada House. She married William Ian Chree in May 1951 at St. Francis-in-the-Wood Anglican Church in West Vancouver. Ian Chree worked on sound systems for stage productions through Vancouver, especially Theatre Under the Stars.

Anna Chree was a woman of many talents. She had an excellent memory for names and events, kept a diary written in shorthand, and was an acccomplished Cordon Bleu trained cook who enjoyed music and theatre. However, her main passion was roses. She founded the West Vancouver Garden Club in 1962, and was president of the West Vancouver Rose Society for a period of time.

She also served as secretary on the Air Pollution Committee, Chair of the Environment Committee of the North and West Vancouver Council of Women, and was actively involved in other community organizations including the Vancouver Folk Society, Canadian Folk Society, Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver Camera Club, Opera Guild, Chrysanthemum Society, Vancouver Parks Board, West Vancouver Social Credit Association, and West Vancouver Little Theatre Guild.

Another of Anna Chree's passions was the establishment of a fountain in West Vancouver, for which she lobbied beginning in 1960. Her desire to do something lasting and beautiful for the community she had lived in for almost 50 years, led her to bequeath her estate to the municipality of West Vancouver. She chose the general elements of the fountain before she died which will be constructed in a plaza adjacent to the expanded aquatic and community centre.

Ian Chree died on November 9, 1968 at the age of 59. Anna Chree died in March 2002 at the age of 94.

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