On December 20, 2010 Elizabeth Haddock prepared for her next great adventure. Peacefully and with friends present she slipped away in the early morning hours.
Liz, as she was known to her friends, was born December 23, 1921 in Klondike England as the first and only child of Benjamin and Dorothy Haddock. Klondike, England she would say, was like Klondike, Alaska. They both mined gold – one was yellow and one was black. Liz loved the theatre there, built before her mother was born, as it showed Felix the Cat movies! The family moved to Manchester when Liz was 2 years of age. Her Father, formerly in the Army, took a position as a Policeman in Manchester until his untimely death at 53 years of age. Her Mother, often worked as a guard at the police office when not managing a very active and adventure seeking young Liz. Her Mother passed away in 1973. Liz spent many times with her cousin Nancy (Nan) Howlett. Both were intrigued with the coming and goings of planes in the nearby airport. Liz grew up in the war years with all the hardships, worry, heartache and uncertainty that it entailed. She remembered well the warning sirens of approaching enemy planes during the war and recounted how her father’s bomb shelter was the best in the neighbourhood. With the war over, Liz took a job in Berlin for 4 years. Working for NATO she spent a few years with the British Government. She worked as a stenographer, although, some believe a spy. Liz did not know shorthand and recounted that in a meeting of the Senior Officers an American officer took the minutes, typed them up and gave Liz a copy. Mystery surrounds her time with NATO! She spent nights dancing, in the company of her cousin Nan, with many American GI’s. Many would court her. One would often call on her in a jeep and for a time she went with an officer in the Army. But alas, the fellow’s mother had already picked out someone for him. When asked why she didn’t marry Liz replied “I was living life not wanting the responsibility of a relationship. I don’t think I missed anything!” For anyone that knew Liz, living life is exactly what she did. In 1950 Liz returned to England and attended Oxford University for 4 years. She studied Occupational Therapy. In 1954 she moved to Oslo, Norway and was a Nanny to 2 children. Their Father, a member of the British Consulate, was to be transferred to the Far East and wanted Liz to follow. Liz declined this invitation. So, in June of 1959 she sought a different adventure and boarded a Norwegian ship to New York. Once she landed she went off sight seeing by herself, in typical Liz fashion, and ended up in a Warehouse District. She stopped for lunch at a café filled with men!! An Italian waiter becond her to sit down. When he found out she was English all the men were interested in where she was from. Many had fought on the same soil. While in New York she matter of factly mentioned that she had also met the Queen! Interesting times followed Liz. From New York she ventured to Chicago where she visited with friends she had met in Norway. She travelled through the United States visiting friends in Pennsylvania and in Vancouver B.C. It was there that she hoped to find work. The work she found sent her north to Burns Lake in October of 1959. She planned to stay only 2 days. When she found out the train was not to be back to Burns Lake for a few days she adjusted her plans and took up residence at a boarding house in Burns Lake. Then, as time went on, a B&B for 2 years in what used to be Dr. Dickson’s Dental office seemed fitting. She began her productive career in Public Service as a social worker in her new home town. As a young woman in a small town, that still had hitching posts for horses, she settled into her work and became part of the many first families that helped establish Burns Lake. The Sandercott’s and Py’s adopted her as one of their own. Many good times were had with her extended families and close friends Dorothy Saunders and Bruce and Ev McEwan. Her contributions to the community of Burns Lake were many. She was active in Drama and Music Festivals held annually and she became part of the history of Burns Lake. In 1981 at the Music Festival Homecoming Concert Liz was named Citizen of the Year. She was praised for her work with seniors and cadets. She cared for many people in the community and surrounding area. This caring attitude extended to many feline friends in need too. She retired after 20 years of service to the community of Burns Lake. Many people benefitted from her expertise and caring ways. Her retirement years allowed her travel to England to visit family and to be more involved with her extended families and many friends in Burns Lake. She will be remembered for her contributions to the people of Burns Lake, her stalwart and very British attitude about life and for her love of needy cats of Burns Lake that she lovingly took into her home. She leaves to mourn many people that were touched by her friendship.
A gathering for Liz will be held on July 8, 2011 at 11:30 AM. Her wish was to be laid to rest in the Burns Lake Cemetery without ceremony. Friends are welcome to gather there and say their last good-byes. Everyone is welcome to attend a tea in her honour at the Burns Lake Library beginning at 12:30 PM July 8. For more information please contact Kim Brewin at 250-338-1192. In lieu of flowers Liz would be very grateful for donations to the care of stray cats in Burns Lake and surrounding area. Donations can be made to the Mother Millie Fund and mailed to 2450 Fountain Road, Burns Lake, B.C. V0J 1E0.