Clayton Cassidy receiving the Medal of Good Citizenship.

2016 in review: Clayton Cassidy awarded Medal of Good Citizenship

Plus council vacancies in Ashcroft and Cache Creek, closure of the Eagle Motorplex, and new mosaics at the Chinese cemetery.

APRIL

Soccer on the upswing

Lee Hand, president of the South Cariboo Minor Soccer Association, was thrilled with the turnout of youth to take part in the league this year. She said that there were more than 250 players on 26 different teams, and that the league was up three teams in each division over the last three years.

Passing of Cache Creek councillor

Herb Hofer passed away on April 17, aged 74. He had served several terms as a councillor in Cache Creek, and was most recently re-elected in 2014. He had also served three terms as a director for TNRD Area “I”. Mayor John Ranta said that Hofer was a big part of the community, and “his death has punched a large hole in it.”

Graymont Pavilion plant to close

Graymont announced that it would be idling its lime plant and quarry at Pavilion indefinitely at the end of June 2016. The closure affected some 40 workers at the plant. A spokesperson for Graymont said that the closure was due to reduced demand for their product across the board.

MAY

Motorplex to close

After more than 28 years of operation, it was announced that the Nl’akapxm Motorplex near Ashcroft would not be opening in 2016 and would be closing its doors for good. The move left organizers of the Graffiti Days committee scrambling to revise the schedule for the June 2016 event, as old-time drag-racing at the motorplex was part of the program.

Volunteer of the year

Community Futures Sun Country (CFSC) announced that Spences Bridge resident Jim Ryan was its 2016 Volunteer of the Year. Ryan had been on the board of CFSC since 2003, but had to leave at the end of March as a result of new federal government regulations. General manager Debra Arnott said “We’re really, really going to miss him.”

Tegart gets nomination

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart was acclaimed as the Liberal nominee in the riding, in preparation for the May 2017 provincial election. Tegart said she was happy to get such an early nomination, and that she “totally enjoys” the job.

Award for Clinton man

Robin Fennell of Clinton was one of 30 recipients of the 2016 B.C. Community Achievement Award, which “recognizes and celebrates the spirit, imagination, dedication, and contributions of British Columbians to their communities.” Fennell has been involved with a variety of Clinton and area organizations for many years, and had recently retired after 30 years on the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department.

Lali to seek nomination

Former MLA and cabinet minister Harry Lali announced his intention to seek the NDP nomination in Fraser-Nicola. He was narrowly defeated by Jackie Tegart in the 2013 provincial election, but said “I never really left provincial politics.” He promised that if he got the nomination and was elected, residents would get a representative who was not afraid to speak up.

Flood recovery ongoing

A year on from the disastrous flood of May 2015, mayor John Ranta acknowledged that while restoration and renovations were largely complete, more remained to be done, including an engineering study to look at stabilizing Stage Road. “It’s an ongoing challenge to recover from that 40-minute event.”

The Cache Creek fire hall has been restored, but there is still flood recovery work necessary in Cache Creek. Photo by Barbara Roden.

JUNE

Mosaics at Chinese Cemetery

Two stained glass mosaics were unveiled at the Ashcroft Chinese Cemetery: a free-standing dragon mosaic and a bench featuring mosaic art. The pieces were designed by local artist Marina Papais and created by her and a team of volunteers. The Hon. Teresa Wat, MLA for Richmond Centre and the Minister of International Trade, was on hand for the unveiling. She noted that work at the cemetery, and on the mosaics, was undertaken by non-Chinese residents, and stated that this showed “a true multicultural spirit.”

Loan request defeated

The AAP seeking the approval of Ashcroft voters for the village to borrow up to $4.1 million for construction of a new water treatment plant was defeated. A total of 10 per cent of registered voters—148—needed to voice their opposition in order for the AAP to fail; when the forms were counted, 254 had been received. The village stated that the next step would be assent voting (referendum).

Fit to stand trial

Shane Gyoba, accused of the murder of his uncle Ed Gyoba in Ashcroft in June 2014, appeared briefly in Kamloops court after a 10-month delay in his hearing, which had been halted so that he could undergo psychiatric evaluation. He was declared fit to stand trial, and on June 23 was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Ashcroft councillor resigns

Al Mertens, who was elected to Ashcroft council in 2014, announced his resignation effective immediately. He cited perceived tension and animus directed at him during council meetings, and apologized for his inability to effect reasoned review.

New Cache Creek councillor

Former Journal editor Wendy Coomber was confirmed as a councillor for the Village of Cache Creek, after winning the by-election caused by the death of former councillor Herb Hofer in April. She was challenged by Peter Gross and Gareth Smart. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said after her win.

First Citizenship Medal in Fraser-Nicola awarded

Cache Creek resident Clayton Cassidy was the first person in the riding to be awarded the B.C. government’s Medal of Good Citizenship. The award, created in 2015, recognizes outstanding citizens for their “exceptional long-term service, and contributions to their communities The medal reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness, and contributions to community life.” Cassidy was nominated because of his more than 30 years of volunteering in the community, and in particular for his work following the Cache Creek flood in 2015.

 

 

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