It has been my privilege to work and serve the areas of Ashcroft, Cache Creek and Clinton in a variety of ways for more than a quarter of a century but the time has come for me to move on.
I came to Ashcroft in 1978, some 35 years ago, as the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal, went on to serve from Victoria as the Special Assistant to the Minister of Forests and MLA for Yale-Lillooet, Tom Waterland, employment that brought me back often to this area, Merritt, Hope, Lillooet, Lytton, Ashcroft, Cache Creek etc.
I grew to know so many people and loved the opportunity to serve in this way, then took a short hiatus to enjoy the wonderful job of Director of Media, Government and Public Relations for the Mining Association of BC, hired by Tom Waterland who had left politics to become the President of MABC.
I was there to help launch the first Mining Week in BC and the first Mining for Miracles events sponsored by MABC, both events which have since grown to become major events. I was also there to assist with the initiation of a shelf ready Mining Curriculum for BC schools, another program which flourished.
I retired from that work in 1994 and returned to the area I loved, found a home in Cache Creek and went on to serve the people of this area as an elected official, councillor, a job that I loved with my whole soul. In that time, I also had the privilege of becoming President of the Okanagan Mainline Municipal Association and served four years as a director of the Union of BC Municipalities.
Although I did work hard along with a number of other people to breathe new life into the Gold Country Communities Society and served as president for a number of years, I also, as a councillor was proud to see new Christmas lights, a new InfoCentre, new flag, new entrance signs including the large neon signs, five years of involvement with the countdown celebrations for the Olympics, the successful Torch Run, worked with the Chamber of Commerce (rarely missed a meeting) and the Graffiti Days Committee. And the list goes on and on.
It has been quite a ride and quite a crash when it ended at the last municipal election.
And now the time has arrived for me to move on to the next phase of my life. Although I am leaving this area to live in Kamloops (to be closer to my daughter Jody and family), I am leaving a big chunk of my heart behind just as I did when I left Merritt in 1978, the community in which I raised my family.
As long as I am able to drive, I will be coming back to keep in touch. I will be reading my E-Edition of The Journal every week and of course passing through often to visit my Farmer Daughters on North Green Lake Road.
Thank you to so many for coming to the farewell luncheon at Chums, arranged by my long time curling buddy, Joan Friesen, assisted by Fran Helland of Ashcroft and Joy Murrell of Cache Creek, including the two mayors, John Ranta and Andy Anderson, the former Area I director, Barry Tait and Ben Roy with whom I worked so closely in so many achievements.
Thank you Jackie Tegart for being such a kind MC – I wish you all the best in your new challenge, taking on Harry Lali in Fraser-Nicola! I will continue to watch this campaign with interest – one last poke for Harry whom I have known since he was in diapers (almost).
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the kind words and accolades, and a very special thank you to Wendy Coomber who presented me with a disk full of pictures taken through the years showing the involvement I had with our communities and including so many people with whom I had the privilege to work, serve and play, an amazing recording.
Au revoir my friends and good neighbours, remember I am just down the highway, around the bend and down the other side of the Big Savona Hill, not that far away!
(News & Views writer for so many years)