With big juicy hugs currently on hold, locals are trying to come up with creative and safe ways to celebrate milestones like, for example, the upcoming 99th birthday of Lennoxville resident Ferne Murray.
“I just want her to be showered with love,” explained Darlene Kerr, who considers Murray her adoptive grandmother. “She spent her life caring for people. Her whole life has been giving,” Kerr said, wanting to give back in some small way.
Because a party is off the table, Kerr suggested friends take the time throughout the week to stop by and leave a note or a flower at her door.
“She loves flowers most of all,” Kerr explained. “I would love to see community members bringing her flowers to plant in her garden this spring so that this year her garden represents her community giving back to her,” she said. “This woman has given so much to our Lennoxville community through business, and by caring for those around her,” Kerr added.
Murray has appeared in the pages of The Record countless times over the years for her involvement in the business community as manager of the wool shop in Lennoxville, and also through her volunteer work with her church and local community groups.
Former Lennoxville borough president David Price agreed Murray has had a big impact on the town over the years. “She is certainly a pillar of the community in every sense,” Price said “And the wool shop was not just a retail shop, he added, pointing out that Murray at one time was at one time the head of the Canada-wide wool growers’ association. Price added that Murray ran a successful business at a time when there weren’t that many women in the business sector.
Lennoxville Florist Claudette Beaudry described Murray as an extraordinary woman. They have been friends for 35 years, Beaudry said, ever since one day Murray wasn’t feeling well and Beaudry brought her a flower. “She’s a true confidant,” Beaudry said, and they touch base regularly since the florist, which is in the old wool shop building, is just a hop, skip and a jump from Murray’s home. “She takes care of people,” Beaudry said, explaining that Murray, at one point in her life, wanted to be a doctor.
“She’s a doctor of the soul,” commented Beaudry, saying Murray has a gift for sitting with people and listening to them and making them feel better.
“And I’m godmother to her cat,” Beaudry added.
To avoid overwhelming Murray or putting her at risk due to COVID-19, Kerr suggested friends leave a note or pass by throughout the week and offer her a happy birthday wave or flower by her door rather than an in-home visit.
Murray’s official birthday is Friday, June 5.
Because Murray has always considered it her responsibility to help beautify the town, Kerr thought offering flowers to plant would be a nice gesture.
“She’s truly an angel here on earth,” Kerr said, hoping over the next few days locals will show Murray the appreciation she is so deserving of. “It is, in my mind, a way to say thank you to this humble wonderful woman,” Kerr said.
Anyone unsure of Murray’s address can contact The Record at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.