The City of Nelson and its cultural development committee have presented Nelson residents Frances and Ron Welwood with a special citation in recognition of for their lifetime work in preserving, promoting and documenting Nelson’s history.
Ron Welwood sat on the city’s heritage committee for almost 20 years, compiling three heritage brochures for the city: Walking, Motoring and Cemetery, in addition to writing numerous articles on Nelson for British Columbia History.
After arriving in Nelson in 1969, he became immersed in the area’s heritage and history as the librarian at Notre Dame University of Nelson and David Thompson University.
In this role, he immediately began to amass a collection of Kootenaiana, as print and non-print resources of the region were not being collected and preserved in one location.
After David Thompson University closed in 1984, this inventory was transferred to the Nelson Public Library and the Nelson Museum Historical Society, and he continued to collect as the librarian at Selkirk College from 1984 to 2000.
These collections are accessible and continue to be a valuable resource for researchers.
Frances Welwood was on the board of directors of the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society (Touchstones Nelson Museum) for over 20 years, and is an accomplished historian, writing many articles for BC History and local news media.
In the early 1990s, she began to research the life of Annie Garland Foster for a Nelson Museum exhibition.
An early graduate of the University of New Brunswick, Garland Foster was the first woman elected to Nelson city council in 1920.
Frances spent nearly two decades painstakingly researching and gathering the details of this enigmatic woman’s life, publishing her full-length biography of Foster, Passing Through Missing Page, in 2011.
Both Ron and Frances are active volunteers, leading walking tours showcasing Nelson’s history to locals and visitors.
For almost 30 years, they have regularly attended the British Columbia Historical Federation conferences as Touchstones delegates, enthusiastically promoting Nelson and its vibrant and diverse history.