Born in Helsinki, Finland, Anneli Long arrived in Salmon Arm with her family in 1962. Anneli and husband Chris had owned and managed a wholesale nursery business in Finland but were concerned about Russia’s intentions. Shortly after their arrival in Salmon Arm, they established Paloranta Nurseries, which was located where Lakeshore Road becomes the Canoe Beach Road, NE. Branches were established in Vernon, Kamloops, and Prince George. For several years she also wrote a column for a major Finnish newspaper depicting farm life in Canada.
In the mid 1970s Anneli’s interest turned to the sale and installation of swimming pools. As well, she became known for her landscape architecture. Projects she designed included the Weyerhauser Pulp Mill in Kamloops, the Shuswap Lake General Hospital grounds, and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. The design for the resort earned a national award for excellence.
Beginning as the Factory Boutique, the Mimi Boutique Ladies Wear store featured an original line of women’s fashions designed by Anneli. It served the Shuswap for 14 years. A counterpart, Madame Mimi Boutique, served Kamloops. Her last business venture involved the raising of lake trout for the wholesale market.
Always interested in her community and a lover of nature, she developed a “Save the Bay” proposal. Her plan ensured that everyone would always be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the Salmon Arm Bay.
Anneli enjoyed sketching and painting. She was a long-time member of the Salmon Arm Sketch Club and attended art courses in Banff and Mexico. She was also a founding member of the Finns of the Shuswap organisation. As well, she enjoyed travelling, classical music, ballet, and gardening. She raised three daughters, Mirjami, Helena, and Susan, and one son, Michael.
Anneli bequeathed property to the Deo Lutheran Church in Salmon Arm. The land was sold, and in February 2017 some of the funds generated were used to create the Anneli Long/Deo Lutheran Endowment. The fund will disburse grants at the discretion of the directors of the foundation to non- profit charitable organisations in the Shuswap in support of social justice, including programs for those in need and the alleviation of poverty.