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Special friend to Special O passes away

oswald chTo all those who follow Special Olympics here on the Sunshine Coast, our Special O community has suffered a great loss.

This month’s article is dedicated to the memory of kindhearted Annette Bertrand. She shone a ray of hope everywhere she went especially here on the Coast and was beloved by all.

Annette volunteered as a coach for basketball, floor hockey and golf. She also dedicated her expertise and passion to the executive as program coordinator and most recently as volunteer coordinator for over six years with Special Olympics Sunshine Coast.

anne bertrand

The late Annette Bertrand on the golf course with Special Olympics athletes Adam Casey in the middle and Bryan Ware. Annette, a Special O volunteer, said coaching golf always brought a smile to her face. She died on Jan. 10. Denise Brooks photo

In the early morning of Jan. 10, our beloved Annette, known as ‘Nette’ to the Sunshine Coast Special Olympic family, quietly passed away in her home overlooking the Sechelt Inlet. For two years she had quietly battled an extremely rare form of cancer.

Nettie’s organizational and computer skills put the Sunshine Coast Special Olympics at the forefront in British Columbia. Her pride and joy was creating our spectacular website. In addition Annette would spend countless hours going over thousands of photos and selecting specific music to put together a year-end review power point display.  Her goal was to include each and every athlete, coach and volunteer.

One of her greatest comforts was just walking the Blue Ocean links with a couple of our athlete golfers. “I always walk away with a smile on my face. Special Olympics is the most rewarding organization I have even been with.”

Annette’s husband Chuck said, “Her wish is for everyone who hears of her passing to perform an act of kindness toward a stranger and an act of love for family.”

Annette always told me how proud she was of me as Athlete Reporter. I’d like to return the favor by saying just how proud she made us all with her caring and generous way of being.

One my fondest memories of Annette is riding together on a golf cart during golf tourneys played at The Blue Ocean Golf Club in Sechelt.

Thank you to Annette for all you did for us; the athletes, the coaches and the executive. We will all continue to make you proud.

Special Olympics locally has been graced by a truly special lady.  She will be missed.

Donations to Special Olympics in memory of Annette can be made to:  SOBC Sunshine Coast c/o Helene Johnston, treasurer, 179 Grandview Heights Road, Gibsons, BC   VON 1V3

You may also wish to visit the wonderful website that Annette created for us at:

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One comment

  1. Thank-you for your beautiful article and wonderful tribute to my mother. Mike, I had the pleasure of meeting you at Straight Coffee on one of my visits to “Nette” and Chuck in Sechelt. I truly appreciate your kind words. My nine-year-old daughter would also like to say something to you. “I appreciate your kind words and how you wrote about my grandma. I am truly missing her and reading this brightened up my heart. Thank-you for these words and memories.”

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