Chris Green, a friend, loving parent, grandparent, and fixture of Prince Rupert’s Scouts Canada program, passed away on July 6. She was 93 years old.
Green was an individual whose passion for the development of skills and character in young people was evident in the six decades she spent volunteering and leading the scouts program.
“She was a tower of strength in her heyday,” said Arnold Wick, who is currently a quarter master for the 11th Prince Rupert Scout Group. “I’ve been in it for 50 years because of people like Chris. It was her interest and passion that rubbed off on myself and so many others.”
Green was born near Kitimat, but moved to Prince Rupert when she was eight years old. She joined the scouts in the 1950s, drawn to the program both by her love of the outdoors and the discipline it provided. Green began her scouts’ career as an assistant Cubmaster before qualifying to become a Cubmaster.
In that position, she led hundreds of young children, including Wick, who was only eight or nine years old when he first met her. Wick, now 71 years old, said that Green was firm but fair, and she always pushed her cubs to be disciplined and respect scouts’ rules.
He also said that her protective personality led to the nickname that stuck with her wherever she would go.
“Most of the scouts knew her as Mother Green,” Wick said. “If you talk about Mother Green in the scouting world, they know exactly who you’re talking about.”
In 1955, Green participated in her first Scout Jamboree, travelling to Ontario to attend the Eighth World Scout Jamboree in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It was the first of many jamborees she would attend over the years, where she became famous for eagerly organizing camp fires and leading songs.
“Her favourite song to sing was Liza Jane,” said Wick. “She would sing those songs with all the gusto she could.”
In Prince Rupert, Green also organized the district Cub camps that took place annually on Digby Island. The camping trips were a week long with between 27 and 42 scouts from various levels and age groups.
Loving mother and wife
Chris met and married her husband, Owen — who went by the nickname Buddy — in 1944. They had two sons together: Robert and Reggie. The Greens also became foster parents in the mid-50s, providing a stable and loving home for children.
In 1964, the Green’s home became a permanent residence for foster children, with Chris and Buddy welcoming and caring for six new children, all of whom were under the age of four. Of course, all of them were expected to join the scouts.
As the years went by, Green became a doting grandmother, and each of her grandchildren remembered her as loving and generous. Her granddaughter, Pam Wheatley said what she enjoyed most was simply going to visit Green to chat with her.
On a recent visit, Green was making a dutch apple cake and Wheatley mentioned how delicious it looked. A few hours later, Green drove to Wheatley’s house where she dropped off the freshly baked cake for her.
“She said ‘I can just make another one’,’” Wheatley said. “Everybody has nice, giving, loving stories like that.”
Another fond memory Wheatley has was sitting down with Green to look at her collection of scout badges she collected over the years from jamborees and camps. In her years with the scouts, Green collected hundreds of badges, each of which she stitched onto more than 15 blankets.
“She knew the story behind each one,” Wheatley said. “She loved it and was still looking for badges even until later in life.”
Green would continue to remain active with the scouts even as she advanced in age, driving to scout camps across the country. She passed away on her way to a camp in Ontario where she would have continued to exchange badges, lead camp fires and sing songs.
“I’ll miss her scouting spirit,” said Wick. “The next meeting we have here in Prince Rupert, she won’t be here and that’s unheard of.”