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Nellie Sholund remembered as part of a team that helped build community in Port Moody

Nellie Sholund and her late husband, Al, received Port Moody's Freedom of the City Award in 1998 for their volunteer efforts
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Nellie and Al Sholund visit with John Grasty, now the president of the Port Moody Heritage Society that they helped form in the 1960s.

A beloved member of Port Moody’s community who helped create the city’s first library and its museum has passed away.

Nellie Sholund died in Nanaimo on Sept. 22 at the age of 97.

Sholund and her husband, Al, settled in Port Moody in 1956 with their young daughters, Christine and Pauline, after moving from England in 1946.

They immediately became involved with their new environs. The couple formed Port Moody’s museum and historical society and worked to help restore the old railway station that was to become a repository for the city’s artifacts of its past.

The Sholunds also put together Port Moody’s first library and library board where Nellie was instrumental in developing the children’s collection.

Later in life, Nellie Sholund was on the executive of the Port Moody Seniors Association and served on the advisory board at Kyle Centre for eight years.

For their efforts, Al and Nellie Sholund became the city’s first recipients of its Freedom of the City award in 1998.

Rick Marusyk, Port Moody’s mayor at the time, said the Sholunds were “shining examples of community volunteerism.”

Jim Millar, who was involved with the Port Moody Heritage Society and Station Museum for many years, said the Sholunds operated as a team.

“It was always the two of them together,” he said. “They were always very involved with the city.”

Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov said, in a statement, Nellie Sholund was “instrumental in building Port Moody’s sense of community and inclusion for people of all ages. Her legacy will continue to benefit Port Moody residents long into the future.”

In a social media post, the Port Moody Heritage Society said it was “saddened to hear about the passing of Nellie Sholund, an extraordinary community member and a dear friend.”

But, it added, members were also feeling extremely thankful for the countless hours of work the Sholunds contributed to ensure Port Moody’s history was preserved so future generations could learn of its formative stories, many of which were documented in a series of articles written by Al Sholund.

Nellie moved to Vancouver Island in 2018 – two years after her husband died.

On Tuesday (Oct. 4), the city lowered the flags at city hall to half staff for 24 hours to honour Nellie Sholund.

According to a news release from the city, the Sholund family has decided there will be no memorial service.

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