It's a wonderful life, Coast version

Well, it has been a week to remember on the Sunshine Coast.

Thanks to a lot of sung and unsung heroes we had the best Sea Cavalcade parade ever, an almost incident-free Sea Cavalcade, and a visit by the RCMP Musical Ride.

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It struck me as I was watching the parade on Saturday how much we have as Sunshine Coasters and Canadians to be proud of. I love the fact that our community is so all-inclusive. We welcome newcomers and revel in their uniqueness.

The Filipino contingent, the Japanese girls in their kimonos and the keening of the Scottish bagpipes stir the soul and awaken all our senses.

There was a lot of hullabaloo this year about changes made to Sea Cavalcade. Some of the nastier comments were, in my estimation, completely uncalled for. No one signs on in an unpaid volunteer position to take the kind of abuse some folks are happy to dish out.

For many years Conchita Harding has made sure in spite of all odds that Gibsons' premiere summer festival takes place. I'm pretty sure if you think you have a great idea on how to make it more successful and are actually willing to help do so, she'd welcome you with open arms. So thanks, Conchita. On behalf of the many who appreciate your efforts, I salute you as our honourary Golden Girl.

The Musical Ride would not have taken place on Tuesday without the meticulous planning of many dedicated Rotarians and Wendy Gilbertson, the intrepid head of Gibsons' Parks and Recreation department. Beginning with Staff Sgt. Herb Berdahl of the local RCMP detachment approaching retired Sgt. Gerry Webb (coincidently the new president of the Rotary Club of the Sunshine Coast) the logistics of bringing Canada's best known ambassadors to the Coast involved many hours of volunteer work by a lot of people.

Some of the planners are relatively new to the Coast. We're fortunate to have Dave Hawkins, one of the newest Sunshine Coast Rotarians. If the name seems familiar it's because Dave comes from a solid line of volunteers. His mom and dad, Gwen and Ed Hawkins, were driving forces for Habitat for Humanity on the Coast.

Another newbie is Glen Brown from Abbotsford. In addition to all the work he did for this event, Glen is our resident social media guru. If you see us on Facebook or the web, it's because Glen made it happen.

For anyone who knows Terry McBride, a Rotary Club of Gibsons member, it's no surprise that he had a big hand in the planning. And of course Gerry Webb spent countless hours bringing the main attraction here along with the local Coastal Cowgirls and the pipe band from Vancouver.

With this group were helpers from the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour, including MC Patrick Munro who was superb and folks from the Rotary Club of Sechelt. And the contribution of Chaster Creek Stables was amazing. There were many, many more people who helped; it truly was a magnificent effort by a lot of dedicated people.

My final tip of the hat goes to our editor, Ian Jacques who was once again front and centre snapping photos. Ian volunteers hundreds of hours every year to make sure the stories of the Coast get told in pictures and words. Without him there would be a lot less community in our community newspaper.

What a wonderful place to live.

© Copyright Coast Reporter


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