Known for her bubbly personality, Eva (Eve) Dalzell was nominated for the 2021 LEAP Award by the BC Senior Living Association in honour of the positive atmosphere she helps to create for her fellow residents at The Shores Retirement Residence in Kamloops, BC, where she lives.
Eve sits on a variety of committees at The Shores, and encourages her fellow residents to participate in the many activities going on each day. She has been an active member of the community since she moved in six years ago, and was nominated for the LEAP award by team members at The Shores.
“I couldn’t believe them to start with,” Eve said when asked about how she felt after learning she had been nominated. “It made me all teary.”
“Eve is lovely,” said Larissa Kolle, Resident Engagement Manager at The Shores. “She enjoys calling bingo, calls residents to remind them of meetings, and drops off get well cards to residents who need a pick-up.”
Eve was born in January 1940 in Whitecourt, Alberta. She grew up with her grandparents. Her grandfather owned a farm and a sawmill in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. He would make bids on forests to log, and the family had to move around as a result.
The farm was small, and her grandfather had built the log cabin they lived in, which was chinked with local clay. They had a few cows, horses and chickens, but Eve said the farm was quite small.
When Eve was 5, she contracted rheumatic fever. She became very ill and had to be hospitalized. Because of this, her grandparents thought it was best she stay out of the cold and sent her to boarding school for Grades 1 and 2. From Grades 3 to 7 the family moved almost yearly between Alberta and British Columbia, eventually settling in BC. She spent the rest of her school years in Dawson Creek, BC. When she was in Grade 12, she met her future husband, James Dalzell.
James was 21 and in the military as a signal man. He and Eve were married in 1957 and moved to Vancouver, which is where James was stationed. She worked as a cook in Vancouver at the Roundup Café, which is still there, until she had her daughter.
“I often say he took me out of the dark ages. We had no electricity, so it was literally dark,” Eve said with a laugh. On the farm, she and her family had had to stay within 3-feet of an oil lamp or be swallowed by the night.
Their daughter was born in Vancouver in 1958. Eve was very ill during the pregnancy, and the doctors thought she may not make it, but she assured James that should would be fine. Thankfully, they both were. Even then had a son in 1960. He was 9 lbs and 12 ounces — Eve is 5-foot-2.
“I was done after that,” she said with a laugh.
James was in the military for 25 years, during which they had several postings, including Halifax and Germany. Eve loved their posting in Germany, because they were able to travel all over Europe for five years.
Once the children were grown, Eve went back to cooking.
“I enjoyed cooking. My husband said, ‘you know typing and shorthand, why don’t you work in an office?’ Because that would have been easier for me. But I told him I didn’t enjoy that, and I think you need to enjoy your work or what is the point?”
After James retired, he and Eve enjoyed their time fishing and camping. Eve had a ¼ acre lot at their house, and she loves gardening.
She’s lived at The Shores for five years, and continues to enjoy life and all of the activities offered. As a people person, Eve is always encouraging her peers to come and join her for whatever is being offered. Eve has always enjoyed sports, even becoming the MVP on several teams when she was younger, and she continues to bring that energy with her.
“We played games based on the Olympics last week and I got gold in archery,” Eve said. “But that was only because I had a better strategy.”