Bol­ster­ing spirit in Clarke’s Beach

Town of­fi­cials en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to vol­un­teer, get in­volved

The Compass - - COMPASS -

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.”

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Pic­tured here fol­low­ing a re­cent “com­mu­nity night” in Clarke’s Beach are, from left, Bill Noel, Zoe Wilkins, Mayor Betty Moore and Robert Sim­mons.

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