Pat Morris was born in Peace River, Alberta in 1936, the third of three children. She and her family moved to Kimberley, where her father took work as a miner, when she was a small child, and after leaving the mountain town following her marriage to Hugh Morris in 1957, she returned in 1966 with her new family and resided there until 1973, when the family moved to Vancouver.
Pat was a remarkably talented youth, who excelled in both academic and athletic domains. She particularly loved history and literature, but achieved excellence in virtually all subjects. Later in life, she was a shrewd student of business and finance, a capable investor and an advocate for economic justice.
As a youth, Pat was a star badminton player and loved to swim. She was also an avid bowler. In team sports and in her own individual pursuits, she was a determined competitor but she loved games for their play and grace, and was as enthusiastic about others’ accomplishments as about her own. She loved to dance and was fond of music, and cultivated a similar love in her children.
A member of the student government at her highschool, she exhibited great leadership skills throughout her life and was devoted to her community, volunteering in many capacities for local and national charities.
Pat’s love of reading sustained her throughout her life. Although she was not able to attend college as a young woman, she founded the first book-club in Kimberley, and encouraged in her children a deep curiosity about and pleasure in books. After her children had left home, she returned to college herself, studying history until she interrupted her studies to care for her mother, following her father’s death.
Pat met her husband, Hugh Morris, when he was a student in Kimberley—on a fellowship that is the inspiration for the Hugh C. Morris Experiential Learning fellowship. Before marrying, she worked in the local newspaper office as a copy-editero, and later as a dental assistant. After they married, Pat and Hugh lived briefly in Cowichan Lake, British Columbia and in California before moving to South Africa and then Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) and then returning to Canada, first to Port Arthur and Montreal, and once again back to Kimberley.
Pat is remembered by her friends and children for her joyfulness, her wit and intelligence, her kindness toward others, her integrity and her self-sacrificing spirit. The Pat Morris prize recognizes how important learning was to her, and aims to make a difference in the lives of young students who share her values and, like her, would wish to study further.