Kelowna City Hall flags to be lowered for former skater

Barbara Anne Scott, who won Olympic gold in 1948, was given the freedom of the city and who died last week, will be remembered today.

Flags will fly at half-mast over Kelowna City Hall Friday to honour Barbara Anne Scott.

The famed figured Canadian skater, who won gold at the 1948 Olympics after winning the world figure skating championship in 1947 as an 18-year-old and then again the following year along with the European and Olympic titles, was one of the first recipients of Kelowna’s Freedom of the City. She was nick-named Canada’s sweetheart.

Scott died last weekend at her home in Florida. She was 84. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday.

“I think the city— like the rest of Canada—just fell in love with her because of her charm, grace and talent,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “I had a long-distance friendship over the years with Barbara and her husband Tom King, keeping in touch with letters and Christmas cards. So, I was saddened by the news of her passing, and lowering the flags is a good way for Kelowna to say goodbye to a beloved Canadian who made such an impression on our city.”

Scott performed in Kelowna in October 1949 with the ‘Skating Sensation of 1950 ice show for the opening of Memorial Arena.

After the performance, she was made a Freeman of the City, an honorary member of the Kelowna Jaycees and was presented with a gold brooch.

The Freedom of the City is the highest accolade conferred by the Kelowna.

Others who have been given the freedom of the city include former B.C. premiers WAC Bennett and his son Bill Bennett, former mayors Jim Stuart and Dick Parkinson, long-time city councillor Ben Lee, former senator Ross Fitzpatrick, local business pioneer Stanley Simpson, Olympic rower Blair James Horn, Dr. Walter Anderson, Maj. Gen George Pearkes, Dr. William John Knox, George Howard Dunn, Brig. Harry Angle and the B.C. Dragoons.