Ruth Masters, a Second World War veteran and a well-known environmentalist in the Comox Valley, died Tuesday. She was 97.
Masters was born at St. Joseph’s hospital in Comox in 1920.
During the Second World War, Masters joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Divison. She was stationed at Uplands then in England.
After travelling to New Zeland, Australia and different countries in Europe, Masters returned to the Comox Valley. She then worked as a legal secretary from 1952 to 1992.
She was also involved in a variety of causes, including the environment, animal rights, peace and women’s rights, and took part in a number of protests.
In 2004, Masters gifted 18 acres (7.3 hectares) of her property beside the Puntledge River to the Comox Valley Regional District to create the Masters Greenway and Wildlife Corridor.
As part of the donation, she had a covenant registered on the land in favour of the Comox Valley Land Trust and the Land Conservancy of BC. The covenant prohibits the placement of buildings, toilets, picnic tables, garbage bins or parking lots on the greenway.
She had planted ferns and trees rescued from construction sites on the property.
The greenway features threatened and endangered species. It is part of an undeveloped corridor along the south side of the Puntledge River.
Prior to the donation, Masters leased the land to the regional district for five years. The lease allowed public use of the land in exchange for the regional district paying yearly taxes.