Anne Davis wears many hats: president of the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre board of directors, vice-president of the Labour Council and board member of the Health Sciences Association (HSA) Union.
“I represent our members on Vancouver Island north of the Malahat,” she said of the latter.
She also helped organize the Walking With Our Sisters summer exhibit that honoured and brought awareness to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
Davis is the program co-ordinator at the Comox Valley Transition Society, which is soon relocating to a bigger space across the street at Coast Realty at the corner of Sixth and England in downtown Courtenay.
“I’m really proud of Transition Society,” she says of her workplace of 23 years. “I’ve seen us respond to the needs in the community over and over and over again over the years.”
Davis is a Courtenay resident who grew up in Victoria, where she attended St. Ann’s Academy. She came to the Comox Valley as a 19-year-old in 1974.
“I’ve been here ever since. It’s been really interesting to watch the Valley grow and change. I was part of the old Renaissance fairs back in the day. Those came to an end and then (Vancouver Island) MusicFest started. MusicFest is great.”
Davis — who has an eccentric cat named Nixie — is an avid reader who also loves gardening.
“Working here at Transition Society, over the years I’ve heard a lot of stories of trauma. Women dealing with really, really difficult stuff. So for me, going home and gardening, it’s just hugely therapeutic. Just relate to plants. They’re easy.”
Davis and her husband Brian Charlton are parents of two boys and two girls — “they’re all quite different,” she says — and grandparents of three. One of the grandkids is local, one lives in Victoria and a brand new one resides in New York.
“They are a huge source of joy.”
One of her children, Emily St. John Mandel, is an award-winning author who lives in New York City.
“I home-schooled my kids for a lot of years. She’s (Emily) the oldest so she got the most of her home-schooling. In fact, she didn’t go to school until Grade 12. But I always insisted that she write something every day…It worked.
“She married a New Yorker and she writes, so I get to visit.”
Emily’s fourth novel, Station Eleven, has made the New York Times bestseller list, and was shortlisted for the 2014 National Book Awards.
“And she’s on the long list right now for Canada Read’s on CBC.”