By Scott Strasser, March 7 2017 —
Dozens of University of Calgary students gathered in Baron’s Court for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque for former Brew & Blendz manager Annette Schmirler on March 6.
Family members and friends of Schmirler were also in attendance at the unveiling, which included short speeches.
Schmirler, who managed the Brew & Blendz in the Kinesiology complex for 10 years, passed away in October 2016. She was a popular figure among U of C students, with a warm smile and ability to remember what people liked to order, even when she hadn’t seen them for a long time.
“We always talk about being kind to people, but do we actually do that? Annette really did that. She made this place a great place to come every day,” Faculty of Kinesiology dean Penny Werthner said. “It’s a great loss for the faculty and the university, so I’m happy we could do one small thing to remember her by.”
Following Schmirler’s passing, fifth-year political science student Graham Duff started a petition to rename Baron’s Court to Annette’s Corner. Baron’s Court is the area at the U of C where Brew & Blendz is located. Duff’s petition garnered more than 1,200 signatures.
“When Annette passed away, a lot of people felt really strongly and there was an outpouring of grief and people wanted to do something,” Duff said. “I took the opportunity to give some students a voice and allow them to express their messages in a productive way so that action could be taken.”
The Faculty of Kinesiology started discussions of setting up a plaque to commemorate Schmirler while the petition was in the works. The U of C Board of Governors approved the plaque and renaming a corner of Baron’s Court “Annette’s Corner” at their meeting on Dec. 16.
Duff said Schmirler had a big impact on his time at the U of C.
“She made a huge impact but it was such a regular thing, it was just who she was, that we didn’t realize it in the moment,” he said. “Now that Annette is gone, we really understand that when we find people in our lives who are like [her] and make an impact like that, we appreciate them when we find them.”