In the many fine obituaries of Grace McCarthy that were published, there was little or no mention of one of her best achievements for the City of Vancouver: helping to make possible the creation of VanDusen Botanical Garden.
In the early 1960s, as a busy young mother and a florist, she was also a popular Vancouver Parks Board commissioner. She worked tirelessly, along with many private citizens and groups, for part of the abandoned Shaughnessy Golf Course to become a botanical garden, instead of being completely developed by the owners, CP's Marathon Realty. Approval by the city for a botanical garden took six years.
Negotiations with CP and fundraising were to take another four years, with Grace McCarthy, then in the provincial legislature, always still at the heart of the struggle.
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a beautiful gem in our city for which we have, in large part, to thank "Amazing Grace."
- Midge Oke, VanDusen Botanical Garden guide