Elsie Beggs is celebrating her 95th birthday this month, with many of those years filled with memories of her family’s contributions to Aldergrove.
Born in Vancouver on July 12, 1919, Elsie (Newman) spent her youth in nearby Peardonville where her family had a farm. She came to Aldergrove in 1941 to work at the post office and it was here that she met Trevor Beggs, whom she married in 1947.
It was in 1944, however, that Elsie became a founding charter member of the Royal Purple Lodge #38 Aldergrove, when her father, Aldergrove Elks Exalted Ruler Brother A. Newman saw the need for an auxiliary to the BPO Elks of Aldergrove. Elsie is the only surviving charter member today and was recently awarded a 70 year service pin by the Royal Purple.
Over the years the Royal Purple Lodge supported numerous charities such as Save the Children Fund and also sponsored Christmas parties for the children in this community. They have also helped finance children’s playgrounds, assisted Family Services and Food Banks, sponsored scholarships and well baby clinics, among many other community endeavors.
During the war years Elsie was involved with the Red Cross, First Aid and as an airplane spotter.
She was president of both the Aldergrove Elementary and High School PTAs, president of the United Church Foundation and United Church Women. Elsie also organized the Kinsmen Mother’s March here and was a fitness instructor with the ProRec program for several years.
Trevor andd Elsie were members of the Aldergrove Agricultural Association and the Fair Board, and also assisted Pete Swensson with the Langley Walk for years.
Trevor operated a hardware store in Aldergrove and managed CFVR Radio in Abbotsford, while Elsie remained with Canada Post until her retirement. Trevor (who passed away several years ago) and Elsie have three children, Dianne, Myrna and Murray, as well as two grandchildren, and Elsie is looking forward to her first great grandchild arriving later this year.
Elsie continues to live independently in her community and remains active with the Royal Purple and Seniors’ Network in Aldergrove.