This is my last editorial for the Similkameen Spotlight and Black Press.
Over the years at the newspaper, I have had the pleasure of getting to know lots of good people. I have been allowed to enter into many worlds and welcomed with open arms. I have watched our arts council grow including their umbrella groups like the performing arts. Our community has celebrated many significant events through them.
There have been plays…lots of plays. Each one unique and full of community spirit. Some of the actors left their comfort zone to step on stage and with the nourishment of those more experienced to guide them. It has been wonderful to watch.
The arts council brought us the Spirit Festival. How many years was it since Princeton welcomed an event that embraced all of our heritage like that? One can only hope for more.
While the arts council has raced to do and change the face of Princeton, so too have others. China Ridge took their network of trails and weaved magic…finding funding for a longhouse and an expert trail builder…finding volunteers for many hours of tireless trail building. They hosted Olympians Denny Morrison and Ashleigh McIvor down their latest single track trail. How many communities can boast that honour?
The Vermilion Trails Society brought us their dreams and built them. They found enough grant money for a million dollar bridge that gets used every day by our people…a bridge that will host two weddings this summer and innumerable tourists. Their knowledge of “if we build it, they will come” rings true.
There are many other groups who have flourished. The curling club has continued to host bonspiels and teach the young. The golf course has grown and it too teaches the young. We have the Legion, Lions and Rotary. We have the PXA group, rodeo club, minor hockey, Highland dancers, COPS, traditional music festival, community garden, minor ball and more.
We have teachers, students and first responders and tireless volunteers who care. Caring is the root of our community and the only thing that will keep it strong. It is the fibre of caring that has weaved not only these groups together, but our community. Without people who care, we are nothing.
It is these volunteers who are there doing, hands dirty time and time again, not because they are looking for a pat on the back, but because it is part of who they are. These friends I will cherish. These people are my Princeton. When I look back, I see I have had the honour of meeting the best of the best and becoming their friends. Thank-you all who have supported me and showed me you care and as a friend sent me in the form of a fridge magnet…”This not how the story is going to end.” I for one welcome a new beginning with my friends and family there beside me.