Heather at her first big show, the Ottawa AVS show of 2003.
She won big and the rest is history...
Sadly that was not to be, and she passed away at home while the convention show was being judged.
To everyone amazement, the second best in show was a plant that was hybridized by Heather, called Demers Fundy fog, a trailer which was grown by her good friend Dr Bill Price from Vancouver BC.
Heather and Bill at the AVSC convention of 2006 held in Ottawa.
Heather was then president of the OAVS and organized the convention.
Bill was the then president of the AVSC
As it became quickly obvious that she would not make it to go see our violet friends, I promised her that I would go to the next convention for her, to say her goodbyes. Canadian conventions are every two (2) years).
Well this year, in 2018, they had a joint Canadian and American violets societies convention (AVSC & AVSA) in Buffalo NY. Bonus, I would be able to see more of our friends.
When we lived in Ottawa Ontario, she was not only a member of her local club, Ottawa AVS but also NY State AVS. She used to entered plants everywhere on both sides of the border it seems :-)
Being a joint convention, I also thought that it would be the perfect place to introduce a new award in her memory; The Heather Demers Memorial Award for the best Canadian origination. In other words, the best of the plants originating from Canada entered in the show.
This year, the first award went to her good friend Dr Bill Price from Vancouver BC with a plant called Demers Pixie Bell, another trailer from Heather.
In a show of 600 plants, this plant won second best in show
and totalized US $410 in award prizes.
To say that it was a bit emotional for me and Bill would be a gross under estimation...
Dr Bill Price holding Heather's plant.
Sorry for the soft focus, was a tad teary eyes...
Demers's Pixie Bell
Best In Class, Best Trailer in show, Best Canadian origination, including Heather Memorial,
and second best in show. I was both proud and humbled and yes sad that she missed it all...
Jean and I are both members of the First Halifax African Violets Society, and so we were both part of the Nova Scotia delegation that attended, all from our club. It was Jean first African Violets convention.
For me I have been to quite a few of these but it was the first time that I travelled to one without any show plants... So much easier to travel...:-)
The convention was at the Marks Hotel on the harbour side of Buffalo, from the 20 to 27 of May.
We drove and stopped at friends and family along the way up and down. A big thank you to my military brothers and sisters, you guys and gals are the best. Love you.
Sadly in our travels, we had to make a few emotional visits. A good friend is slowly losing his wife to cancer. She is in palliative care at home, like Heather did. I can so related to what I know he is going thru, hang in there buddy... We stopped both ways to have a good visit, which meant not much time for other visits, but we of course spend some time with our sons in Ontario.
We could not take Rudy with us, so he stayed with Jean's mother, Rose, who just happened to have a small poodle Diva, who is currently Rudy girlfriend's :-)
The two of them had lots of fun and Rudy was not pissed at us when we came back. That's a relief. He was never separated from us for two weeks before.
Rudy's girlfriend Diva
The two of them caught kissing on the couch :-)
When we went south in the Caribbean this past winter for a week, he was pissed at us when we came back. It took a visit from the grand daughters to bring him back normal. Relieved it was all good this time around. Besides Diva, Rose, Butch and Carla also kept him occupied I don't think he missed us too much, but he was happy to see us back this time.. .
Next, I will tell you about what woodworking related discoveries I made in my travels, and yes brought a few things back to add to my coll...errr... assortments of tools
You know you travelled thru New Brunswick late Spring, early Summer
when you bring back a fine collection (or a large assortments :-) of bugs.
The Trans Canada Hwy runs close to the St John river.
Bob, still scrubbing away bugs from the car