Mae Shearman, co-founder of the Victoria Free-Net Association (ViFA) died on Friday, June 5th 2015 after a variety of serious illnesses. A memorial will be held on Wednesday, June 24th at 2:30 pm on what would have been Mae's 75th birthday, at the Interfaith Chapel in the University of Victoria's Finnerty Gardens -- a garden she supported for many years. Anyone who would like a message of condolence read at the memorial, please email Juliette Proom: japroom(at)shaw.ca
Mae Shearman began her life on a farm near Armstrong in the North Okanagan. She was active in 4H, and earned a degree in Home Economics. She taught in several communities, including Squamish and 100 Mile House. Mae met Gareth Shearman while both were teaching in BCís interior, and they married on New Year's Eve in 1971. They settled in Victoria soon afterwards.
In 1992, Gareth and Mae Shearman were instrumental in establishing the Victoria Free-Net Association ó Canada's first Free-Net and earliest not-for-profit Internet Service Provider. Until Garethís death in October 2013, Mae was the bedrock of Victoria Free-Netís operations and the ever-patient and welcoming face for its community of users. She was Garethís support and always at his side as he plunged into many other provincial, national, and international community networking activities.
Mae and Gareth were co-recipients of an Industry Canada Information Highway Leadership Recognition Award for their pioneering efforts on behalf of community networking.
In Victoria, Mae and Gareth were also active in the Friends of UVic Gardens, the Rhododendron Society, the Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society and the Victoria Orchid Society and the Consumers Association of Canada.