Community mourns death of longtime New West resident

Around Town

Members of the longest-running book club in New Westminster are among the many who are mourning the death of longtime New West resident Nancy Clarke.

Clarke was a founding member of the Queen’s Park Ladies Book Club, which started meeting in 1992. Clarke, 64, passed away on Oct. 19.

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Born in New Westminster, Clarke attended John Robson Elementary and New Westminster Secondary School. She’s remembered by her fellow book club members as being an avid reader and an early fan of established and emerging Canadian authors.

“She was always so upbeat and fun to be around,” said fellow book club member Lynn Wakabayashi in a statement to the Record. “She didn’t mince words. If she didn’t like a book, you knew it.”

Jill Davy, another member of the group, recalled Clarke’s sense of humour. “Her keen insight and quick wit were a joy to us all.”

Both Wakabayashi and Davy feel the book club experience has helped its members cope with life’s ups and downs. Members of the group, which meets monthly, relish their time together.

The book club was featured in DeNel Rehberg Sedo’ 2004 SFU thesis, Badges of Wisdom, Spaces for Being: A Study of Contemporary Women’s Book Club.

Beyond the book club, members say their friend made an impact on life in New Westminster with her involvement in a variety of activities, from May Day as a flower girl to Community Living initiatives as a parent.

“Nancy was the darling of our book group,” Davy said. “Our most treasured memory is Nancy, a glass of red wine in hand and her soft-spoken voice thoroughly trashing an inferior read.”

A memorial service for Clarke – a mom, wife, aunt, sister, grandmother, friend, colleague and lover of books – is being held at La Perla Ballroom in River Market on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.

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