Hilary Everitt's giving spirit illustrated by lifetime Golden Brush award

Wes Everitt and his daughters Sandy Jasper and Kerrie Vockeroth accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award in behalf of the late Hilary Everitt at the Golden Brush Awards at Chemainus Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 18. - Andrew Leong
Wes Everitt and his daughters Sandy Jasper and Kerrie Vockeroth accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award in behalf of the late Hilary Everitt at the Golden Brush Awards at Chemainus Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 18.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

Chemainiac Hilary Everitt has been remembered as a star among the valley's galaxy of unsung volunteers.

The foster mom, artist, actress, musician, organizer geneologist, reporter, history buff, animal lover, author and grandmother recently earned Mural Town's Golden Brush Lifetime Achievement Award following her death Nov. 18.

She was 68.

Husband Wes said he's trying to fill vast vacuum left by his close pal, whom he married in 1993.

Wes likes to think Hilary would be painting the town red after posthumously winning the big Golden Brush.

"I think she'd have been pleased as punch — I'm sure she was there when it happened.

"Hilary would be humbled to be honoured that way."

The award salutes an intelligent woman who gave selflessly to her various communities over the years, he explained.

"Hilary was a member of Mensa, and she fixed computers for people if they had trouble," he said of the England-born, Calgary-raised lass whose family came to Canada in 1964.

Once on the island in 1980, Hilary took up sailing in the Wee Robbie.

The reporter later helped launch Alberta's Airdrie Echo, and later wrote for Ucluelet's West Coaster, and Warren Goulding's Chemainus Courier.

"Hilary was instrumental in talking Warren into starting his newspaper, and wrote What's In Your Attic," said Wes.

That's just the iceberg's tip.

"She was a board member of Chemainus Cultural Arts Society, helped organized Fiddle Fest and Accordion Fest and Music in the Park — MC'd for most of them," he said, plucking activities from Hilary's deep well of work.

The geneologist researched family trees for numerous townsfolk.

"It was a hobby, she didn't charge for it."

Hilary's own family is illustrated in her book about her ancestor, Capt. John Swete.

Her small booklet Fallen Heroes Of The Chemainus Valley chronicles the life and families of war veterans on Chemainus' cenotaph.

"It's about who they were, where they were born and buried," Wes said.

"She researched all First and Second World War veterans, and their ranks, bought frames and created the Wall Of Honour in the Legion.

"It was a huge project, but it was just a challenge," he said of his wife who owned Grinning Dog Antiques & Collectibles.

Hilary also played in the Cowichan Valley Harmonica Band, Chemainus Hillbilly Band "and we started the Orange & Green Irish Band."

"We entertained all over the island, from Victoria to Courtenay, and played retirement homes and hospitals," he said of Hilary who played piano, banjo, fiddle, bodhran penny whistle and spoons too.

Beautification barrels in Chemainus and scenery for seniors plays illustrate Hilary's artistry.

Her generosity included hosting a Legion benefit for the family of heart transplant patient Matt Baker.

"She didn't even know them. I couldn't keep up with her — I'd have been a fool to try," Wes said.

"She sure as busy around here."

Hilary's survive by kids Sandy Jasper, Kerrie Vockeroth, son Chris Brooks, and Curtis Everitt.

















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