One side of Wellness

An Ashcroft resident argues in favour of the Wellness branding.

To the Editor,

Re:  Aug. 7 letter to the editor from Susan Allam of North Saanich, BC.

It is almost incomprehensible to me that a motorist driving along Hwy. 1 could become as disturbed by our Wellness Awaits You signage as Ms. Allam from North Saanich attests. In fact, Ms. Allam’s reactions are so over the top that one wonders just how genuine they are.

To drive off the Highway, pass judgement on a community, subsequently belittle said community in the local newspaper, AND threaten to contact the big city media: such is her outrage, one is forced to conclude that Ms. Allam is indeed in need of some “wellness”!

She makes the same fundamental error in understanding wellness that the folks who have questioned our brand recently have also done. Wellness is not a thing nor, for Heaven’s sake, is it a hospital. It is the physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle that leads to wellbeing.

My husband and I have lived in large cities and small towns. We chose to move to Ashcroft three years ago, and what we have found here is definitely wellness. Ashcroft is, without question, the nicest place we have ever lived – filled with  welcoming and sincere residents, a lively arts community, devoted volunteers, active and involved parents and families, and everywhere friendliness.

People smile and say hello or good morning as you pass them by, walkers wave at drivers and drivers wave at walkers. They might not know each other, they just are friendly. Shopkeepers are genuinely interested in their customers, and take the time to visit and assist.

This is the happiest community we know of and if Ms. Allam decides to spend a little time here, she will come to know that herself.

We live in what surely must be one of the most beautiful sites in the world. We walk the track at the high school daily, and constantly marvel at the gorgeous vista we look at each day through the seasons.

Within minutes we can be at a lake or on a gorgeous country road to explore. We have no traffic lights or lineups or rush hour to contend with, we have relatively little crime, clean streets, well-tended yards and homes.

We live within blocks of one of the largest vegetable farms in BC. I’m sure Ms. Allam has heard of the 100 Mile Diet – well, we have the one mile diet! Further afield, it is only a short drive to access all kinds of fruits and vegetables. The harvest is available to us during the growing season, and also provides us with root vegetables and squashes to last the winter.

In short, we have found Ashcroft to be good for the body and the soul. Minimizing stress, eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and meaningfully engaging with our community and its residents have convinced us that we have indeed found wellness.

I am saddened by Ms. Allam’s judgement. She does a great disservice to our community and its people, but I do wish her well in her continued search to find wellness. It just might be closer to her than she realizes!

Jo-Anne Portman

Ashcroft, BC


Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read