Tri-City News

Nel Forrest, a Port Coquitlam pioneer, passes away

Nel Forrest, seen here with husband Harvie on their wedding day in 1944, passed away last week at age 95.  - TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
Nel Forrest, seen here with husband Harvie on their wedding day in 1944, passed away last week at age 95.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Nel Forrest, a Port Coquitlam pioneer and mother of Coun. Mike Forrest, passed away last week at age 95.

Forrest was born Nellie Coyle on Dec. 3, 1916, in Okotoks, Alta., but grew up in Calgary before moving to British Columbia in 1941. She first got a job working as a secretary with the Student Christian Movement office in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia before marrying Harvie Forrest on June 26, 1944.

The couple lived on the riverfront where they owned a floating house at the end of Pitt River Road near the family's sawmill.

In the history book Port Coquitlam: Where Rails Meet Rivers, Forrest spoke of the flood of 1948, which forced the family to move the house boat onto the shore.

"The river water was swirling right over the tops of the pilings," she said. "My husband and other workers had a very difficult time to get the cables freed as the shackles were away down under the water, holding down the float of logs on which the house sat, while the river pushed it up. The power of the river was amazing and frightening."

Today, Nel's sons, Mike and Ray Forrest, operate Forrest Marine Ltd., a marine towing and contracting business currently located on the family homestead.

More to come.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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