Olive Lillie

Olive Lillie – February 19, 1930 – July 7, 2018

an article by Heather Bailey

During the Advent Service at St Peter Dynevor this past Christmas a plaque donated by Interlake Memorial Services was unveiled in honor of Olive Lillie.

Olive was born and raised in Selkirk and spent her entire life giving back to her community.

When the Selkirk Friendship Centre opened, Olive was one of the first people to work there, she served as a board member and enjoyed organizing and coordinating its various events.  In recognition of her involvement in the Centre from 1968 and on, Olive was recognized as an Honorary Life Member.

In 1979, Olive was a member of the first committee to start the Christmas Advent Service at St. Peter, where she had been Baptized in 1930. Later she served as a vestry member and was cherished as an Honorary Life Member.

Olive helped form the St. Peters Local Manitoba Metis Federation – later amalgamated with Selkirk – and served on the Board.  She was an Elder Advisor to the Peguis Treaty Land Entitlement, Rupertsland Indigenous Council, Rupertsland Sacred Circles, the Wechetowin Council and the Residential School Response Group.

Olive was awarded Life Membership by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch Ladies Auxiliary Branch where she served on various committees.

Olive was not afraid of hard work and was always willing to give a hand: from packing parcels for troops in the Second World War to driving a truck load of sandbags during the flood of the Century.

Olive spent her life volunteering and helping those less fortunate; providing and making changes to services where needed; all the while raising her own family of eleven children, fostering others, and mentoring many more.  She was part of the group that formed the Selkirk Food Bank but in her inimitable style she personally picked up and dropped off donations so that no one went hungry.

Olive was supportive of the political struggles the indigenous community often faced and she was an instrumental in agent for change, as well as a source of support and comfort.

It was no surprise that in 2010, Olive was awarded the Citizen of the Year, for long-standing devotion and community involvement.

Olive was renowned in the community she served: as an elder and a healer she garnered great respect and much love.

Many of the details and information in this article was taken from the Citizen of the Year submission with express permission of the family