Stephenville Crossing’s first librarian honoured

Christopher Vaughan
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Stephenville Crossing Public Library’s founding librarian was honoured last week with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

Sandy Chilcote, western division manager for Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries, presents a plaque honouring librarian Katherine Lucas to her daughter, Joan Downey. The plaque will hang at the public library in Stephenville Crossing.

Katherine Lucas stacked the first set of books at the town’s library in December 1968, which officially opened a month later.

“I remember she used to always be standing next to the desk, doing all of her work. She worked really hard,” recalled daughter Joan Downey.

Upon her retirement in May of 1986, Ms. Lucas became a member of the local library board, which she served on until January of 2003.

“That means she spent 34 years promoting our local library and literacy in the community,” noted Violet Osbourne, chairperson of the town’s library board. “That’s going to be a hard record to beat.”

Ms. Lucas passed away at the age of 99 last November, so Ms. Downey said she was happy to see the plaque installed at Stephenville Crossing Public Library to celebrate her mother’s memory.

“She was very dedicated to the library, so it’s nice that she’s being honoured in this way,” said Ms. Downey.

Ms. Downey took over as the town’s librarian when Ms. Lucas retired in 1986. She also recently retired, having spent 27 years on the job.

The town librarian is now Wanda Downey, Ms. Downey’s daughter-in-law.

Organizations: Stephenville Crossing Public Library

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