Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo took a long moment in the legislature to offer words of condolence and admiration upon the recent death of a Salmon Arm community pillar.
Petronella (Nel) Peach, known by many as a “tireless advocate” for people living with diabetes, as she had for 40 years — died unexpectedly on May 17.
“On Monday, Salmon Arm and indeed our province lost a well-respected member of our community,” Kyllo said before his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly, adding she was in the city she loved beside her loving husband at the time of her passing.
Born in Haarlem, Netherlands in 1940, she was known in Salmon Arm as a “volunteer extraordinaire,” a breast cancer survivor, a passionate dragon boater and a “warrior” when it came to her work with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the SPCA.
“Nel grew up in the Netherlands in World War II and often commented on her admiration for Canada’s assistance during the war,” Kyllo said.
“Diagnosed with diabetes nearly 40 years ago, she used her experience to become a passionate advocate for people living with diabetes,” Kyllo said of Peach, who served as a regional chair for the association’s Interior B.C. region and was a key fundraiser for Team Diabetes, taking part in national and international marathons.
Her accolades are many and of great magnitude. In 2010 she carried the Olympic torch in Salmon Arm. She was also presented with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, and was awarded as National Volunteer of the Year in 2017.
Kyllo thought of Peach as a hardworking, determined and inspiring community member, and “a dear friend.”
“I wish to express my sincere condolences to her partner and husband, Gordon, family and friends.
”You will be missed.”