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June 2008
June 2008

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Table of Contents

Publisher's message: Change can be a bear
Pass the Hat update
Summer Camps: Opportunities for growth
Destination Imagination: Terrific Chorific’s journey to global finals
Family Matters: What if it’s the last time?
Bears and people don't mix: Deterring backyard grocery shoppers
Kathaumixw 2008
The flora and fauna
Blast from the Past: Westview—The more things change...
Faces of Education: A Passion for Theatre
Community Calendar
Explore Powell River


Publisher's Message
Change can be a bear

By Sean Percy

“The only constant is change.”

I wish I had been smart enough to have written that. I suppose even if I was, the proverb had been written long before I was born.

But I can certainly attest to the truth of the statement. My return to Powell River last month drove that point home. Ten years certainly can change things.

The demographics of Powell River have changed dramatically, the economics have shifted to less reliance on big industry and more small businesses, and the environmental movement has moved into the mainstream.

Of course I have changed, too. Maybe wiser, definitely older, now with a family, I look at Powell River with changed eyes. Maybe things don’t change, just the way we look at them? That’s another quote, but I’m not sure I agree with Henry David Thoreau. I think things do change, and so does the way we look at them.

On the other hand, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Again, I’m a day late and a dollar short to lay claim to that pithy saying. Or, rather, two centuries late and on the wrong continent. But I understand completely what Alphonse Karr was getting at.

When I visit businesses here, I’m often greeted by familiar faces—the same faces that were there a decade ago. Old friends, also perhaps wiser and definitely older, are still here. It’s a good, solid feeling.

And we’re still struggling with waterfront development—a theme that has dogged Powell River’s history since the beginning of Westview. Roger Whittaker explores how history repeats itself in his look at Westview’s history in this issue.

As a new resident of Wildwood, I was also interested to see how the battle with the bears has changed little over the decades. The only way to “win” that battle, of course, is to peacefully co-exist, which is easier said that done, when I want my apples, and so do the bears. In this month’s issue, Bear Aware member Letha Bird offers some tips on how to make the situation bearable.

And, on the lighter side, George Campbell takes us on one of his hilarious adventures, also with Powell River’s wildlife, which refuses to stay wild.

As George notes, sometimes if we don’t change, the results can be disastrous. But as long as we can still chuckle about it, we’ll survive.



Pass the Hat update

Pass the Hat




Summer Camps: Opportunities for growth
By Isabelle Southcott

Summer, kids and camp go together like peanut butter, jam and bread.

Some of my best memories were made while attending horseback riding camps back in the Maritimes. Each summer, my horse-crazy best friend and I would pick a camp we wanted to attend (based on the purported equine activities) and convince our Moms and Dads that we simply HAD to attend this camp. Luckily, it wasn’t difficult to convince them.

My family also went to a Unitarian family camp in Bangor, Maine where we spent time away from the everyday routine and chores of life. There we met new friends, discovered new artistic talents (I learned how to make sand candles and early Caveman jewellery) and enjoyed the beauty and simplicity of the beautiful beach and surrounding woods.

Fran Ferguson, a registered clinical counsellor with a masters in education, works with children and adults. She was involved with a family camp in Manitoba as a member of its staff, program and camp director and chair of the board. “At Camp Wasaga, the entire family comes for a week at a time and there’s tremendous opportunity for individual growth, family bonding and building connections between families that last a lifetime. Some of my best friends continue to be those I met at camp.”

Ferguson, a strong believer in summer camps, says they are all about building skills and making friends. “What I have seen happen with kids at camp as they celebrate the sheer excitement of seeing or doing something for the first time is unforgettable. For some, from the city, it was the first time they saw a deer or a rabbit. Just being able to observe wildlife and have new and outstanding experiences. I know a number of people whose lives have been changed because of camp.”

There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars or in a rustic cabin with eight others, using an outhouse, and eating in a mess hall. All these experiences contain valuable lessons that help us as individuals.

Snorkelling in the Copeland Islands: Just one of the experiences open to Powell River youth among the many programs like this offered by TerraCentric Adventures

There are a number of summer camps in the Powell River area to choose from with everything from week-long overnight camps to three-day camps to day camps. Camp providers include School District 47, Leisure Services and Terracentric Adventures.

The school district is offering four eco-adventure camps this summer for students in grades 5, 6 and 7 at Rainbow Lodge on Powell Lake. The camps, which will be held in August, are Budding Artist Camp from August 4-9; Discovery Science Camp from August 11-15; Adventures in Filmmaking from August 18-29 and Jam-Out Music Camp from August 25-29. For more information call Brooks Secondary School at 604 483.3171 or email jpalm@sd47.bc.ca or visit www.sd47.bc.ca (use the What’s New tab).

Brooks teacher Ryan Barfoot, the sustainability and ecological education coordinator, says the camps will include “intensive learning under the guise of intensive fun.”

“We’ll do canoeing, team building activities, games and sports,” says Barfoot.
In addition to the eco-adventure camps, the school district will offer LEAP (Leadership Ecology Adventure Program) camps for local high school students again. These camps help students discover and develop leadership skills while exploring the outdoors. LEAP is an accredited program and upon completion of LEAP, students earn a school credit in Applied Leadership Studies.

For the younger kids there are summer day camps. Leisure Services and Terracentric Coastal Adventures offer a variety of programs for children younger children from ages 6-13.

Terracentric also offers family camps of up to three days. This year Leisure Services is offering a day camp that runs from Monday to Thursday and concludes with an overnight camp out.
Day camps are a great change from daycare for children of parents who have to work. Day camps at the complex include Beach Party, Survivor Camp, Outdoor Adventures, Wet and Wild and The Amazing Race.

Christine Hollmann of Terracentric has been running camps for five years and she sees tremendous growth take place during camps. “When the kids get so excited about being in the outdoors, about being out on the rope course and building forts… it often can be the simplest activity but when they are on their own and learning new skills you see really amazing things happen.”

Terracentric runs day camps for three different age groups. Their groups are small—“we take six in total and have dates in July and August.”

 “Campers go kayaking, snorkelling and out in the Zodiak. They play nature discovery games, exploring the environment and learning by doing,” said Hollmann.

Transportation with carpooling and shuttles will be available for those who live in the city as most of Terracentric’s programs originate in Lund. “We are at the entrance to the Copeland Islands and the entrance to Desolation Sound. These are our playgrounds!”

And don't wait too long to investigate and register because programs do fill up quickly.



Destination Imagination: Terrific Chorific’s journey to global finals
By Wanda Erikson

After many days of practices, fundraising, two days of travelling, a delayed flight, a missed connection and a bus ride that got us in at 4:30 in the morning we are finally here in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tired but so excited at the same time. We are staying at the University of Tennessee, which is perched in the center of Knoxville and is larger than Disneyland itself. There are over 1,000 teams that are competing in the global finals and over 20,000 people involved and concentrated at the University site. Wow, a bit overwhelming for a little team from Powell River but Taylor, Shaelynn, Danielle, Jasper, Quinn and Zachary have fit right in.

Our first day has been an experience in itself. Just finding your way from site to site is an exercise in patience. Luckily for us the people of Tennessee are extremely helpful, kind and generous. (They give us Canadians a run for our money!) Their southern drawl and laid-back attitude keep you grounded and relaxed. I never knew that a simple “Can I help you sweetheart?” in a southern drawl would make me smile as much as I have.

Pin trading is a huge phenomenon at this event. Before we went we were told to buy some BC Destination Imagination pins for the kids to trade, which luckily we did as the trading happens all over the campus at all hours of the day and night. Even the police trade pins here! The kids have gotten right into the trading and, not wanting to be left out of the experience, so have the parents! In fact, I am not sure who is enjoying it more - them or us. It has been a great way to meet people and share experiences with the event. It is through these discussions that I realized exactly how big this competition is for people. Some of the participants have been competing since Grade 2 and they are now at the University Level. I spoke with one parent whose child became involved at a young age so the parent began volunteering. That child is now 32 and the parent is still involved.

Zachary Franske, Shaelynn Brown, Quinn Randle, Taylor Cooke, Jasper Mohan, and Danielle McDonald

In addition to the pin trading there are many activities for the kids. A huge outdoor pool, sumo wrestling, karaoke, water slides, running around in a plastic bubble - you name it, they’ve got it! It’s much better than Disneyland. There is no waiting in line and the activities are interactive and imaginative. In fact there is so much to do it is hard to get the kids focused on a practice for their competition.

After the full day of activities it was off to the opening ceremonies held in the Thompson Boiler building, which is like BC Place but on a smaller scale. Representatives from each team marched into the building carrying the flag from their respective country while the rest of the team seated in the stands cheered them on. Each of the teams are in coloured t-shirts specific to their Province/State/Country and seated in specific sections so when you look around it is like a rainbow. The kids all were given funny hats to wear and flashing toys to add to the fun. Shaelynn was chosen to be our team’s representative for the flag march and she did great! I asked her later how it was for her and she responded “Amazing!” Following the march there were all of the usual announcements you would expect but after that it was all about the laser show and music. The kids came out of there so enthusiastic and happy nothing could have brought them down! My son Zach said it was the best time he has ever had—even better than his trip to Hawaii (now that is good!)

After the opening ceremonies it was off to meet our buddy team from Guatemala who we partnered up with through the ambassador program. They are a team of five boys aged 10-11 who were a bit shy at first but all smiles. We spent more time with them later in the week and even managed to get in a soccer game, which ended up in a tie (of course!). The kids had fun exchanging pins and getting to know one another. They plan to keep in touch through e-mail and hope to see one another again next year.

On Thursday it was off to the team’s main challenge. During their performance the auditorium was packed with kids all there to cheer each other on. Our Powell River team had 30 minutes to come up with a six-minute skit about teaching someone a song but the song is similar in tune to another song. They also had to incorporate one of the famous people they had researched, but they did not know which person it would be until one minute before their performance. During the skit there was a surprise obstacle/challenge in which they had to improvise on the spot to overcome. In the end they ran out of time for their skit but managed to impress the judges with their performance and the way they tackled the challenge.

Our last day was spent getting organized for our instant challenge and their big TAH-DAH at the end. For a TAH-DAH, the team goes on stage after their instant challenge and performs a final TAH-DAH for the crowd. While we were waiting for our Terrific Chorific team we watched some of the others from North Korea, Poland, Turkey and many different states. The one that sticks out in my mind is the team from China who held hands and sang a beautiful song in Chinese. I didn’t know the words but the meaning of the song was not lost as tears rolled down my cheeks.

In the hours leading up to the closing ceremonies Jasper, Danielle, Shaelynn, Quinn, Taylor and Zachary were filled with anticipation. Each was hoping beyond hope that they had placed in the top three. Each was proud of their accomplishments and of each other. They had come a long way to reach their dreams and soon they would know how they did.

As we walked to the closing ceremonies I couldn’t help but think about all of the people and businesses of Powell River who came together to support the kids in their journey. We could not have done this without everyone’s help and support. What an amazing gift you have given these kids and the parents who were fortunate enough to be with them in their journey. Thank you!

During the closing ceremonies when the winners were announced our Powell River team was not called on stage. You could see the looks of disappointment on their faces but by the time they reached the after party the kids were already talking about what challenge they would do for next year and how much fun they have had. In the end they came in 50th out of 75 teams, which was incredible considering this was their first event compared to others who had been there multiple times with the same team. They did however gain the exposure to kids and traditions from all over the world, learned a lot about team work, cooperation, communication and gained love for a new pastime: pin trading!



Family Matters
What if it’s the last time?

What would you do differently if you knew it was the last time? Would you work harder? Faster? Would you tell someone how much you love them? Would you live in the now and cherish the moment?

One of life’s bittersweet lessons is that we don’t usually know it is the last time until it is over. That’s why it is so important to be present and make the most of every single day.
This month close to 300 young men and women will graduate from high school. It is the last time they will ever all be together. Some have been together since kindergarten. They have learned together. Grown up together. Known failures and triumphs together. Shared good times and bad. They are the graduating class of 2008.

They will be sad and excited as they say goodbye to high school and begin the next phase of their lives. Some will continue their education in trades and technical school, others at university. Some will take time off to travel or find themselves while others will enter the workforce.

These young men and women are embarking on a new stage in their lives but so are their parents. My children are still several years away from graduating so I can only imagine how I will feel when my boys graduate. How I will feel when I watch the cap and gown ceremony, the grand march and the pride and emotion that will fill me as I see one chapter of our lives draw to a close.

The last time we do anything seems so final but we often don’t know it at the time. Had I known the last time I nursed each of my children and felt that special bond only a mother and her baby can feel would I have done anything differently? Had I known the last time I said goodbye to Grandpa Peebles that it really would have been the last time, would I have done anything differently? Had the graduating class of 2008 known that this is the very last time that they might see some of their peers, would they do anything differently?

We might think we would but we’ll never know because we can’t go back. That’s why it’s so important that we live each day the best we can and when we care, when we love, let that person know because that moment will never come again.



Bears and people don't mix: Deterring backyard grocery shoppers
By Letha Bird

A bear has two main objectives in life. One is to eat and the other is to eat what he missed the first time round. They don’t decide who they can try to annoy the most or whose property they will destroy tonight. They just follow their nose. So now is the time to start thinking about how to do your yard work without enticing our large omnivorous friends.

A bear’s diet is mainly vegetarian but they won’t miss an opportunity to feast on any meat. A barbecue that has the faintest smell of fat or meat residue will draw him in like a child to candy. Bird feeders are another delicacy. Seed or grain is a loved food source of the bear. Did you know that a bear’s sense of smell is so refined that it can smell food from miles away? That could be why so many bear are zeroing in on our community. They smell all the fruit, nuts, and any garbage that is left to the breeze.

We need to come together as a community and, to the best of our ability, eliminate anything that the bear will consider a food source. If you cannot pick the fruit we have a wonderful group in our community called the “P.R. Fruit Tree Project”. It is a free service. The volunteer group will come to the designated tree/s and pick the fruit for you. One third of the fruit goes to charity, one third to the pickers and one third to the property owner.

Backyard BearDon’t forget those nut trees. I realize that there are some walnut trees out there that are gigantic and impossible to pick. From personal experience I have found that even picking up the nuts as they fall, every day or even twice a day when the wind picks up, helps reduce the frequency and length of bear visits. Now the hazelnut trees are another challenge. Again picking the nuts as soon as possible is the only defense. I have personally had the problem of the bear wanting the nuts before they are ripe. I found that an electric fence placed properly for the height of a bear has worked for me. If the bear still gets to the tree, the only option is to pick the fruit or nuts before it is ripe. If not, the bear will not only take the fruit and/or nuts for a few consecutive nights, it will also destroy the trees in the process. At least by picking green fruit you save your tree and the bear will hopefully not put your property on the menu for the following year.

As you may have heard, there were a few bears that had to be put down last year. These bears were the ones that had lost their fear of humans, and ultimately proved themselves in one way or another to be a threat to human lives. Since we live surrounded by the forest it is a sure thing that we will be visited by the wild animals. This is why I love this area. What we need to do is continue their natural fear of humans. When a bear has the choice of backing away or (preferably) running away from a human, or defending its chosen food source, it will almost always stay near its food.

It takes only one encounter with a human, for a bear to make his mind up whether the human is a threat to run from, or to be ignored as an annoyance. This first encounter is often what ultimately decides his fate. When we allow them to feast on our fruit and nuts, we are inviting them to have no fear of humans and ultimately these are the unfortunates that become too great of a threat and must be destroyed. So be part of the solution. Be “Bear Aware.”  

Be Bear Aware

For more information, contact:
Letha Bird 604-483-9263
Laurence Edwards 604-483-2334

PR Fruit Tree Project:
Anne Michaels 604-485-4366



Kathaumixw 2008
Festival showcases Powell River and the world

From July 1 to July 5, 2008 the community of Powell River will welcome choral singers from many parts of the world to the 13th International Choral Kathaumixw Festival.

KathaumixwThis year, 24 choirs will arrive from Japan, Benin (Africa), Denmark, Slovakia, South Africa, Estonia, France, Ukraine, Ghana (Africa), and Taiwan. North American choirs will come from Washington State, California, New York, Arizona, and British Columbia.

Over the past 25 years Kathaumixw has become a wonderful success story. The music at the festival is world class. The social interaction of the choirs with each other and the people of Powell River is second to none. The families who have billeted overseas singers in their homes have been major contributors to this success. In addition, hundreds of volunteers take part in the many tasks of staging and hosting a festival of this size. The Academy of Music staff and the volunteer organizing committee do a great job of coordinating the major logistical challenges.

Much of the festival takes place at the Recreation Complex. Choirs take part in competitions in the mornings (open to the public). In the afternoons the singers participate in Common Songs, where they have the opportunity to work with prestigious International Choral Conductors.

The Gala Opening Concert is on July 1 at 8 pm. Choirs will also perform at afternoon concerts at 3 pm and evening concerts at 8 pm, from July 2 throughout the week. The Closing Concert will take place on July 5 at 8 pm. Tickets are available at the Academy of Music.

The Kathaumixw Tours program, run by another group of enthusiastic volunteers, takes choirs to various parts of British Columbia after the festival winds up in Powell River. This is a great way for Kathaumixw to share its joyous music with the rest of our province.



The flora and fauna
By George Campbell

What I’d like to know is this: If the blackberries, huckleberries, salmonberries and their tender shoots, otherwise known as the flora of Powell River are supposed to feed the deer, bears, and raccoons, otherwise known as the fauna of Powell River; then how come these characters keep turning up at my place to eat my roses, dine on my apples, and spread my garbage all over the yard?

Oh sure, I know that deer are pretty, gentle little creatures, but have you seen the teeth on those things? They’re like little chisels, and what’s left of the roses after they’ve been chomping on them isn’t worth the fertilizer they’re planted in. Such shenanigans have a tendency to make a person speed up when they see a deer crossing the road in front of the car. Then, instead of “The Flora and Fauna of Powell River” it would be “Weeds and Road Kill from Lang Bay to Lund.”

Then there are the bears. I once left a bucket of green apples on my back porch for my son to pick up for his wife to make pies with. He didn’t get around to it until too late; Mister Bruin arrived in the middle of the night and consumed the whole bucketful. He didn’t even make it down the back steps before those green apples took action. What a mess! You could follow his path clear across my backyard to the middle of my neighbour’s paved driveway where the trail ended in a mound high enough to rival Mount Everest.

At least he was only a black bear. Had it been a grizzly he’d have eaten the bucket, too. Unlike the black bear, the Grizzly is a cranky, obnoxious fellow well known for his aggressive behaviour. Hikers in grizzly country are advised to carry a whistle, bell or air horn to keep these dangerous critters at bay. If you are prone to hiking in the wilderness you should know this. You should also be able to recognize any bear droppings you come across. Are they from a black bear or a grizzly? Here’s how to tell: Black bear droppings are full of huckleberry, blackberry and salmonberry seeds, whereas the droppings of the grizzly are full of whistles, bells and air horns.

Finally we have Rocky Raccoon, the masked marauder, who, like grandpa’s teeth, only comes out at night. Rocky Raccoon’s trick is to come up on your porch, eat your dog or cat’s food, then spread your garbage all over the yard. Like the grizzly, raccoons are short tempered, downright vicious animals, especially when they think they are cornered.

A friend of mine, Bob-nature-boy-Smith (not his real name), had a run in with a raccoon that illustrates this. In the middle of the night while fast asleep in bed, Bob was awakened by a great racket on his sundeck.

Now, most guys who get ready to do battle would put on their trunks and a pair of boxing gloves, but as Bob slept in the nude and was in a bit of a hurry, he dashed out to the sun deck clad only in his birthday suit and carrying a broom. Scheduled for three rounds, the match was over before the first round was over as Bob retreated indoors, yelling, cursing, and bleeding profusely from a great gash in his arm where Rocky had bitten him. He spent rounds two and three at the Emergency Ward of the local hospital having several stitches and getting a tetanus shot.

Deer, bears and raccoons—the fauna of Powell River. Nature lovers spend long hours tramping through the woods, climbing over windfalls, and wading through swollen creeks just to catch a fleeting glimpse of one of them. They are wasting their time. They are all over at my house, eating my roses, stealing my apples, and spreading my garbage over the yard.




Blast from the Past
Westview—The more things change…
By Roger Whittaker

Growing up in Westview meant you were subject to a life of change—change that continues today. Westview has changed a lot since Reuben Fiddler’s construction of the first log cabin. But many of the changes continue to be centered around some of the same ideas and societal dilemmas: harbours, utilities, commerce and construction.

Westview, like Powell River, was an afterthought decided upon by circumstances of geography. Powell River came into being when surveyors reported to their lords that the outfall of the short, but mighty, Powell River looked like the best place to set up a pulp and paper operation. To make landfall at the prospective location they booked passage on a Union Steam Ship to Van Anda on the busy island of Texada. From there they rowed over to Powell River and set up camp. The Malaspina Peninsula was not uninhabited or void of non-indigent engaged in various forms of enterprise. Lund reported in as a busy port of call for stores, lodging and fuel, Stillwater was shipping logs, the gold rush to the Klondike was underway, and the original surveyors were reported to have left immediately to pursue gold for metallurgic interests.

Photos courtesy of the Powell River Historical Museum

The 1923 census reveals there were 71 people living at Michigan Landing, where several Americans who had left Michigan to seek their fortune in the opportunities of the rich costal land took up residence. Residents of Powell River took a train from Lutzville to spend the day at the beach at Michigan Landing. Above them, a forest with newly cleared logging roads was often referred to as Michigan Heights. Westview, located a little southeast, boasted 47 souls on that same census. These pioneers were living in Westview as the result of a pre-emption divided in a provincial land lottery for veterans returning from World War I. Prior to 1919, Westview was simply forest to be logged, then accessible by Elders No.1 Log Skid Road, which we now call Alberni Street. As late as 1924, Harvie Avenue was little more than undisturbed bush and the end of Burton Street served as a log dump.

Governor General Lord Willingdon visited Powell River in 1927 and as part of his official duties; he proclaimed in his own name that the booming ground known as Michigan Landing would become a public park, Willingdon Beach.

Notwithstanding the rest of the world being cast into a depression, in 1930 Westview Water Works began a water supply and power project utilizing Squatters Creek by placing a ram and storage facility at the top of what is now Courtenay Street. This endeavour to supply the growing residential population of Westview required more water than Squatters Creek could provide, so the springs flowing around the junction of Joyce and Alberni Streets were also pressed into service. The entire system was later abandoned to utilize the greater potential of Haslam Lake, which still serves today.

Pre-emption land was predetermined for cultivation. Farming practices of the day describe a method of planting between the stumps over successive years until the stumps rotted sufficiently to be removed. This often took more than five years and great determination. No records yet found show an agricultural subsistence being harvested from these lands. What may have served as farmland for William Joyce and Sam Butler became the property required for educational pursuits with the construction of JP Dallos and Max Cameron schools. Sam Butler’s 20-acre holdings were greatly reduced by school’s demand for land as 17 acres were prescribed for the school and one acre for the roads. JP Dallos is now home to L’école Côte du Soleil and the Powell River Christian School. Modern Windows is using Max Cameron for commercial interests.

William Joyce, a bridge builder who also hauled newsprint to the wharf for the Powell River Company, owned 40 acres running all the way down to the water. His last name is now immortalized on street signs along the wagon trail that ran next to his land.

The 30’s were not dirty in Westview. The United Church was constructed in 1930; in 1931, phone service arrived; and on December 8, 1936, the Salvation Army opened. World War II was ravaging Europe, Asia and the Pacific while Westview concerned itself with its own protection. In May of 1938, under the command of Chief Wilde, the Westview Volunteer Fire Department commenced serving the area with a generous donation of hose from Westview Light, Power and Water Works. Residents of Harvie Avenue provided an additional 100 feet of hose to the new company.

In 1940, World War II may have held the attention of the world at large, but in Powell River thought had turned to the busy wharf at the mill and how the Union Steam Ships were bringing more and more social, rather than commercial, traffic. A letter was sent to the federal government requesting upgrades to the Westview Wharf so that it might better handle the burgeoning civilian trade and passenger service. The six years between that letter being sent and the day the wharf opened for business were fraught with delays and shortages of materials; after all, there was a war on. Undeterred by the machinations of the rest of humanity, Westview became an official village with much celebration in 1942 and serving that incorporation were George Irvine, T.H. Nuttall, Bob Lyon, J.A. Clapp and J.P. Dallos. Construction of the South Harbour came to an end with its opening by the honourable James Sinclair MP on October 30, 1948. Harbour plans were soon back on the drawing board though, as it was found shortly after its opening that the South Harbour would be too small to serve both commercial and pleasure interests. The North Harbour began to take shape in the next decade and was being designed as suitable for pleasure craft only.

With the war over and life in Westview returning to normal, it was a wonderful thing to see women returning to their more traditional roles—such as airplane pilot. Beverly and Elaine Brett held pilot’s licenses, along with Lynette Toll and Iva Sims; all were instrumental in bringing an airport to Westview and in the summer of 1952 the ribbon was cut.

Just two summers previous, Women of the Moose held a convention in Westview, attended by Moose Lodge Women from all across the province.

The need for an arena to host events became paramount and with material salvaged in 1952 from Jamison’s Shingle Mill, Fred Anderson oversaw the building of Willingdon Arena. Three years later Mrs. R.J. Muir cut the ribbon on behalf of her late husband, who it is reported was such a driving force behind the project he became known as Mr. Arena.

Perhaps advancement of a tax base to keep the disparate communities surrounding Westview running with increased services gave reason to amalgamate and incorporate Powell River, Westview, Cranberry and Wildwood as the Powell River District Municipality doing business under the name Corporate District of Powell River. As such, in 1955 Westview gave up its singular existence.

The new town had Ray Allen as first Reeve, then most recently, Past Chair of the Cranberry Rate Payers’ Association.

2008: The north boat harbour requires attention. The wharf at Westview is requiring upgrades and an influx of federal monies. Run of the river power moves closer to the source and is no longer the responsibility of Westview Light, Power and Water Works. Phone service is no longer being switched manually by Northwest Telephone. Locally made chocolate candy is no longer available at Charlie French’s Chocolate Shop, beside the Roxy Theatre. Calling Mr. Long at City Transfer now entails area code plus the number rather than HU5-5190. Moreover, a new church being constructed does not rely on salvaged materials from an abandoned bunkhouse owned by Powell River Company, such as the Westview Baptist Church did in 1949.



Faces of Education
A passion for theatre

When something is meant to be, the universe works in mysterious ways.

Still riding high on the recent success of Brooks Secondary School’s production of FAME, Brenda Laycock, the school’s drama teacher, is already working on casting the next production for November 2008. At this point it is a toss up between Fiddler on the Roof and Annie.

“If I find my Daddy Warbucks or Tevye, my show is picked!”

Brenda has been teaching for 29 years. Five years of that time was spent in Alberta, 16 years in Surrey, 2 years in Kuwait and 2 years in Jordan.

Brenda LaycockBrenda has a teaching degree with a major in drama and a degree in sociology.  She was a devoted worker for many years, and it was this that led her indirectly from BC to Jordan. “I’d just put in for a leave of absence. The opportunity to teach internationally came up and it brought me a chance to expand my horizons.”

A friend of Brenda’s saw an ad in the Vancouver Sun looking for a teacher to head up the performing arts department at an International Baccalaureate School in Jordan. Brenda applied and it changed her life.

“I visited the largest refugee camp in the world. There are 300,000 people living just outside of Amman with no running water or sewage in a place called Baka Camp. I learned a lot; it really opened my eyes. The people were so kind. The poorest people will give you the most in the world.”

She paused and slowly said one word. “Ahelain.” (spelled phonetically) “This means welcome. Ahelain translates to ‘you may walk on my road,’ and this is how they are.”

One of the lessons that Brenda learned in Jordan was how to slow down. “We are so instant in the west. I had to learn to relax, to be more patient.”

Small formalities such as drinking tea for 10 minutes and chatting about family members are the norm before getting down to business. “I learned to appreciate families so much more. Living half way across the globe makes you realize the importance of family.  I also started looking into my own origin and the origin of Islam and Judeo-Christian beliefs. I began to understand through digging into one of the oldest parts of the planet.”

The royal family ran the International Baccalaureate School where Brenda worked in Jordan. “The Crown Prince’s wife, the Princess Sarvath, ran the school, and they had a history of putting on wonderful productions. I was hired to continue this and teach theatre. My first year, we did West Side Story, and it was a great success. Everything has its season. I was then called home to be with my family. ”

When the war broke out in Iraq, staff was given the option of staying or leaving. “Our production of Macbeth opened one day, and the next day we had to stop production out of respect for the dying in a neighbouring country. I was prepared to stay, but my sister phoned and said that our mom was needing help and I needed to come home.” Brenda packed up and went home to Lethbridge, Alberta where a new life presented itself for a few years.

Brenda didn’t consciously seek out Powell River, in fact it seems as though Powell River sought her. Brenda married another teacher, Gary, when she returned to Lethbridge to care for her elderly mother. While there, Powell River came onto the radar.

 “I was phoned about this job out of the blue,” says Brenda. She had applied for a job with another school district in BC but it turned out to be part-time job and she wanted full-time. When that school district heard that Powell River was looking for someone they passed on Brenda’s resume. “Gary and I flew out and were impressed by all we saw. The amazing facility and support staff at Brooks Secondary helped me make my decision.”

Powell River came highly recommended. “Our son knew about Powell River,” Brenda laughs. “He had played hockey for the Victoria Salsa and had been to Powell River on many trips. He really liked the looks of the city and he found the people to be very friendly.”

Brenda’s passion about the arts is contagious. “I think the arts are the heart of the school. I think our experience, as human beings are not what we think about being here but what we feel. Kids learn about themselves through acting, music, drawing, writing and poetry. It’s good for their self esteem.”

She has seen how sometimes the quietest, most introspective child will grow the fastest as an actor. “It’s like the sleeping elephant, they come alive.”

Acting lets people develop their inner self. “We hide behind masks. We play all these roles and sometimes we do not even know who we are. I believe so strongly that drama is therapy.”

One of the things Brenda loves about drama is that you don’t just teach the facts. With socio dramas, people can explore their own issues and stories. “Sometimes we get stuck in our stories but we can stop the story right now,” she points out.

School is a safe place to explore and to get in touch with feelings. “I think that what we feel are the things that we remember. If you want to get into it, you have to feel it and then you will remember it.”

Brooks recent production of Fame was well received by the community. “It was so much fun to watch kids who did not carry themselves as well before, suddenly standing tall.”

But shows like Fame are about more than the end result. “It’s not about the product; it’s about the process,” says Brenda. “The process is where we go into new territory. The kids questioned so many things in the process from actions to costumes. It sometimes takes them a while to get the courage to go there.”

As Shakespeare said, “all the world’s a stage” but we need people like Brenda to help today’s youth become the best possible players.



Community Calendar

Sunshine Speakers Toastmasters: Interested in communication, and public speaking? Call Jim at 604 485-4355 or Kevin 604 483-9052.

2nd Tues: Living with Cancer Support Group, 1:30-3:30 pm at Breakwater Books, Alberni St. All cancer patients, survivors and loved ones welcome. Info: 1-888-229-8288.

3rd Tues: P.R. Garden Club meets, 7 pm at Community Living Place.

June: Introductory Stained Glass, Intermediate Stained Glass, Mosaic Stepping Stone, Fusing Workshops and Fused Jewellery classes at Q Glassworks on Marine Ave. Call early to register, 604 485-7475.

June 1: Powell River Community Band Concert, 2 pm at PR Academy of Music. Children admitted free.

June 2: Malaspina Art Society meeting, 7 pm, Powell River campus of Vancouver Island University.

June 3: Brooks School music year-end Jazz and Chamber Choir concert at 7 pm at the Max Cameron Theatre. Tickets from Brooks school office.

June 4: PR Early Childhood Educators host annual Preschool Carnival 10 am–12 noon at the Gordon Park Track. If it is raining, the event will be held at the complex. Call Roxanne at 604 414-9335.

June 4: Powell River Municipal Retirees Association summer meeting, 11 am in the Elm Room at the Complex.

June 7: Powell River Italian Republic luncheon, noon at the Italian Community Hall.

June 7: Kelly Creek Community Church fundraising dessert potluck 6:30 pm at the church, 2380 Zilinsky Rd. Proceeds to Camp Imadene. Everyone welcome. For more info call the church office at 604 487-1884.

June 7: BC Schizophrenia Society presents Stand up for Mental Health Comedy Troupe, 7 pm at the Max Cameron Theatre. Tickets: Breakwater Books or at the door. Enter the “Funniest Joke in Powell River” contest to win tickets to the show and other prizes. Submit to ljohnson@prcn.org by June 4.

June 8 & 9: Heart & Stroke Foundation Big Bike Ride. For more information, call Ron Armitage at 604 485-9493.

June 8: Relay for Life Golf Tournament at Glen Rosa. Put a team together as the Lund-in-airs try to win best ball and have a pile of fun in this fundraiser against cancer! To enter a team, call Nadine Gagnon at 604 483-2097 or Carol Pence at 604 483-4304.

June 9: Powell River Youth Soccer Association AGM at PRREDS office located at the rear of building at 7385 Duncan Street.

June 11: Walking Fit at the Complex, Group 1, 10–11 am. Coffee social time after the walk (bring change for coffee). Group 2, 12:15–12:45 pm for a brisk walk before you go back to work (Bring a bag lunch). Call the Complex at 604 485-2891 for more info.

June 12: Powell River Council for Art & Culture meets at 7:30 pm in the Poplar room at the Complex.

June 13: St Andrew’s Ladies Summer Fling & Ceildh from 7 to 11 pm at the Canadian Legion, Branch 164. This is a fundraiser for the Powell River Highland Dancer’s to go toward their trip to the Canadian Nationals.

June 14: Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the Signing of the Community Accord 1–4 pm at the Sliammon Salish Center. Free bus provided, departing Town Centre Mall for Sliammon at 12:30 pm. Returns to the Mall at 4 pm.

June 14: Friends of the Library host a book sale at 10 am at the library.

June 14: Parish of St David & St Paul Anglican Church present Jazz Vespers, a service of music and meditation at 4:30 pm at the church.

June 14: Powell River Salmon Society AGM, 7pm in the Elm Room at the Complex.

June 19: Malaspina Naturalists Club are hosting an evening of archeology with Dana Lepofsky, 7:30 pm at the United Church Trinity Hall, 6932 Crofton Street. Doors open at 7 pm.

June 16– 28: Symphony Academy Orchestra of the Pacific (SOAP) with concerts by students and faculty. Find out more, or get your tickets by calling the Powell River Academy of Music, 604 485-9633.

June 22: Genealogy workshop courses with family history consultant, Brenda L Smith, 9 am–4:30 pm, Cranberry Senior Centre, 6792 Cranberry St. Limited seating. Contact Morya at thepalms@shaw.ca, 604 485-9549 or 604 485-2398 for information or to register. Sponsored by P.R. Genealogy Group.

June 22: Final Dirty Dozen Motorcycle poker run. Registration 10:30–11 am at the corner of Twin Eagles Road and Highway 101 — $5 per person plus a donation to Pass the Hat for the CAT. For info call 604 487-0606 or 604 485-9430.

June 26–Sept 1: P.R. Forestry Museum & Gift Shop open 12:30–4:30 pm. See displays along Willingdon Beach Trail. Accessible, 1.2 km.

July 1–5: Kathaumixw presents 18 spectacular concerts, 6 choral competitions and 3 vocal solo competitions. See the complete list of choirs and artists online at www.kathaumixw.org.






Explore Powell River

Kathaumixw scenes, folks & fun

June 2008: Click to enlarge