On Friday, November 14, 2014, Steelhead lost a valuable member and pioneer of the community. Doreen Cameron passed away peacefully with her daughter Marna and Bonnie Harber, a friend of 40 years, by her side.
There will be a special party to honour and remember Doreen and her remarkable life at the Steelhead Community hall sometime in March 2015; this would have been her 90th birthday.
Doreen’s family moved to Mission from Saskatchewan when she was just a year old. She grew up in Cedar Valley and met her future husband Pike Cameron for the first time in high school, but it would be a few years later when they got together.
Doreen left school in Grade 10 to live in Victoria, where a friend had found her a job in a house. She came back to the Fraser Valley about a year later and worked in a jam factory…..it was around this time that she met Pike and they went out on their first date.
Less than a year later, the couple were planning a wedding and had a baby on the way. Doreen was 18 years old at the time; Pike was 16.
Pike’s dad gave the newlyweds the house he built in 1935 on Johnson Road in Steelhead and he moved closer to town with his wife.
There wasn’t electricity in Steelhead at the time, but Doreen said she didn’t mind. “My first impression of Steelhead was it smelled so nice,” said Doreen, who learned to run a home without the modern technology there is today.
Pike and Doreen raised their four children in that house, which now sits on five acres, and took care of their grandchildren and other neighbourhood children who needed help too. Their home was always filled with children.
Doreen Cameron was possibly the longest living resident in Steelhead. Doreen, and her late husband Pike have seen the community grow and transform over the course of 60 plus years.
One time, about 25 years ago, Doreen decided to take her four grandsons on a hike in the District of Mission municipal forest just behind her home. She packed each of them a small snack and juice and headed towards the rock face on top of the mountain.
They found the plank road, but it was all grown in, and Doreen couldn’t find her way. She told the boys she thought they were lost, however they didn’t have a care in the world because they knew their Grandma would take care of them.
The small group ended up walking around for a few hours before finally stumbling upon a house. The kind people that lived there gave the lost and weary hikers cookies and lemonade and then gave them a ride home.
About seven years ago, the District of Mission built a trail and named it after Doreen. They also named a pond after her late husband Pike Cameron whose family was one of Steelhead’s founding families.
The trail begins about 700 metres at the end of Johnson Road, just up the street from where Pike and Doreen lived their entire married life. The trail itself, which goes around the pond and back onto the logging road, is about half a kilometre.
The short trail is an easy hike with a number of rest spots, and a picnic bench by the pond.
“It seemed fitting to dedicate this to Pike and Doreen,” added District of Mission Forestry Manager Bob O’Neal who came up with the idea and spear headed the project . “Pike worked in the area and the story of Doreen hiking there with their grandkids and getting lost………the idea was formed of building a trail so that future generations could find their way.”
Now, with her name carved in the forest, Doreen will be forever remembered by all those walking her trail and especially by all those who knew and loved her!