Bolstering spirit in Clarke’s Beach
Town officials encouraging residents to volunteer, get involved
There’s a concerted effort among civic leaders in the Town of Clarke’s Beach to entice more citizens to step forward and volunteer in their community.
Council’s economic development committee hosted a unique “community night” last month that attracted several dozen people under the banner “Your town needs you.”
The special guest speaker for the event was Clarke’s Beach resident and high profile criminal lawyer Robert Simmons, who spoke about his reasons for moving to the town.
It was also an opportunity to congratulate a young resident — Zoe Wilkins — who was recently awarded the prestigious Lester B. Pearson Scholarship. Wilkins, 17, is the daughter of Peter Wilkins and Michelle Mahoney-Wilkins.
The scholarship is valued at $34,000 annually, good for $68,000 provided for two years of pre-university study at Pearson College, a United World College in Victoria, British Columbia.
An additional $12,000 will be provided through corporate and community sponsors, for a total of $80,000.
She was presented with a plaque by Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore.
The several dozen people in attendance were also updated on a project to record the town’s rich and diverse history.
“We’re trying to inspire more people to volunteer,” Mayor Moore said following the event.
The town is considering a Come Home Year celebration for 2014 or 2015, and is looking to recruit volunteers to help organize the event.
Those attending the community night were given an opportunity to sign up for various committees. Moore hopes it will kickstart a new sense of civic pride in the town, which is struggling to overcome several years of nega- tive publicity relating to uneasy relations among some members of council.
“We want to grow our town and we want people to get a different perception. We are a growing town and we want to encourage people to come here,” added the mayor.
And with a municipal election coming up on Sept. 24, Moore said it was also opportunity to encourage greater participation in the democratic process and to encourage citizens to “consider putting their names forward.”
“Clarke’s Beach is very scenic little town,” added Bill Noel, a member of the town’s historical association.
“I was born here in ‘41 and it’s a good place to raise children and retire. It’s beautiful, quiet, wellplanned and well-governed. We have a lot of history and a lot of potential for the future. People are moving here by the droves.”
Pictured here following a recent “community night” in Clarke’s Beach are, from left, Bill Noel, Zoe Wilkins, Mayor Betty Moore and Robert Simmons.