From rural southern Ontario and misty Scotland, Keith and Madeline met and married in 1969 in Banff, Alberta. They rented a rustic cabin and a year later bought a home in Harvie Heights. Keith commuted to Calgary to work on the new College of Art and Madeline taught Business Education in Canmore High School. The principal was Ted Brock, and Edna Appleby headed Canmore Elementary School.
The population of Canmore was 2000 with Marra’s, Mountview, Smith’s garage, Horbay’s and the Canmore Hotel being the important commercial enterprises on Main Street. Across the river on Mineside, a popular general store was the Rundle Mountain Trading Company. Canmore Mines was the major employer. Remarkable mountain man, Lawrence Grassi, had retired from the mines to build the trails now enjoyed by young and old to Grassi Lakes.
Kathleen Crilley came to Canada in 1970 having been a secretary in Scotland and South Africa. She moved from Banff to Ontario and back to Canmore in 1976. She worked for the new Kananaskis Country office in the I.O.D.E. Hall, which was located across from Sherwood House. Wherever Kathleen lived she spread kindness and happiness. She enjoyed the Canmore Seniors’ socials and danced on their 1983 Centennial float in the July 1st parade. Kathleen died too soon but was able to love and spoil her grandchildren in her three years of retirement.
In 1970 Keith joined the Banff National Park Warden Service and Madeline taught throughout the 1970’s in Banff High School. Keith worked on avalanche control at the ski areas and public safety, including helicopter rescues. Christine was born in 1976 and John followed in 1979. They attended preschool, kindergarten and school in Canmore. Their education has continued at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and the Southern Institute of Technology in Calgary.
As members of the Harvie Heights Community Association, Keith and Madeline participated in the Eastern Slopes Hearings to protect the watersheds, and Natural Resources Conservation Board Hearings on the Three Sisters development. Time is showing that both were exercises in democratic futility. The whole family were active members of the Canmore Nordic Ski Club at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
This last decade, Madeline has been the coordinator of the Bow Valley Literacy Program in the Canmore and Banff public libraries. Keith retired from the Warden Service and operated a home woodworking business until his untimely death in March 1999. Keith is remembered for his advocacy of wilderness preservation. The Bow Valley is an ideal locale for nature, hiking and cross-country skiing. A hope for the future is for a valley with limited human growth and enduring wildlife.
In Canmore Seniors at the Summit, ed. Canmore Seniors Association, 2000, p. 68.