Olive Niven was born in Isham, Saskatchewan. She grew up on a productive prairie farm with her five siblings, and started her long teaching career in a small teacherage in Saskatchewan. She later moved to B.C., married Norman Niven and taught until her retirement in 1973. Olive spoke fondly of Hjorth Road School and especially her many years at Bridgeview Elementary in Surrey.
Olive and Norman lived on a small farm in Surrey where family and friends were always welcome. They had milk cows, chickens, two Highland bulls, and two Shetland ponies, along with their precious Pekingese dogs and cats. After Norman died, Olive moved to Coquitlam where she enjoyed family and her little canine friends. Olive’s favourite pastimes were reading, writing, creating pressed flower arrangements and gardening. She spent many hours out in her yard. She was a true survivor. She lived in her home into her 90’s and she liked to think about making it to 100.
After Olive’s last dog, Skip, passed away, she loved having her friend’s dogs come to visit and snuggle on her lap. Olive would sit in her chair with a huge smile, taking pleasure in kisses and affection from the dogs. After Olive moved into the seniors’ residence, her dear friend’s two rescue dogs continued to bring warmth and joy to her life.
For many years, Olive donated to both the SPCA and the Coquitlam Animal Rescue Society. One of her final wishes was to give support and provision for animals in need. The BC SPCA is grateful to Ms. Niven for her kind gift to the animals – thank you, Olive!