Creston and District Public Library patrons now have an outdoor space to enjoy in good weather. The Lawrence Lavender Reading Garden has been constructed to commemorate Lavender’s dedication to libraries.
Lavender passed away in January 2010 after a two-year battle with cancer. He moved to Creston with his wife, Margaret, in 1967. He began as a teacher/librarian at Adam Robertson Elementary School and moved on to become district librarian, district resource co-ordinator and, finally, director of instruction for the school district before retiring in 1999.
In his retirement, Lavender continued his passion for libraries by serving as chair of the Creston library board. He also became president of both the B.C. and Canadian library trustees associations.
The two-time Creston Rotary Club president also served on Creston town council, but he was probably best known for his passionate commitment to finding a new home for the library, which was then located in a one-time Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall, below the grain elevators. He was preparing the library board to go to a second referendum to construct a new building when the former health unit building was made available. Lavender shifted gears and worked to make that building suitable for the collection and services the library now offers.
“This is a special day,” said Lorne Eckersley, a Creston Rotary Club member who emceed the garden’s official opening. “Lawrence Lavender had many passions — family, libraries, gardening and Rotary. I think this reading garden is a fitting tribute to great leader in our community.”
Among those attending the garden’s official opening were members of Lawrence and Margaret Lavender’s family, including son, Chris, daughter, Amy, and Lawrence’s twin brother, Leonard.