It struck me as I interviewed Ann Kershaw the other day how much I'm going to miss her being a part of Sechelt council. And while I don't reside in Sechelt, I do a lot of living here. I work here, shop here and occasionally even play here.
And while Kershaw is that rarest of political beasts - modest to a fault - her influence is evident everywhere in the District of Sechelt.
I hope when the pool (Kershaw's passion) is completed, some well-heeled citizen with a long memory will find it in his or heart to commemorate Kershaw with a fitting tribute. A great swimmer herself, Kershaw tried long and hard to get a pool approved by the voters of Sechelt. I'm glad her dream finally came true.
Another of Kershaw's passions is evident when one walks by the colourful mural on the wall behind Pharmasave. Without her drive, it's doubtful Dean Schutz would have had the chance to beautify that part of Sechelt. The only thing that would make her happier is more murals.
And come next August long weekend, for the third time, Kershaw's influence will once again be felt when the family arts festival takes place. While the tiny woman with huge clout is anxious to see other art forms included in the two-day festival, she's also realistic enough to know that expanding too quickly often spells doom for a festival.
But that doesn't stop her from dreaming about including film or drama in the annual event. It's hard not to get excited when you hear about all the possibilities Kershaw envisions. Just imagine Shakespeare performed in a tent at Hackett Park. I think we could give Bard on the Beach a run for the money.
Although we've come to associate arts and culture with Kershaw's time on council, that's not her entire legacy. She also cared deeply about the business community in Sechelt. After several years of managing the Chamber of Commerce, Kershaw was fully versant on the concerns of the business community. In fact she told me that's why she decided to run for council in the first place.
In her position as councillor, Kershaw was a strong advocate for sole ownership of the Sechelt Airport. Now that it's no longer jointly owned with Gibsons, Kershaw looks forward to finding out what the public wants to see happen with the facility.
I have to admit I'm not entirely unbiased where Kershaw is concerned. I first got to know her through our mutual Rotary membership. And although personal circumstances have required Kershaw to take a backseat in the group lately, I look forward to the day when she returns to the club.
Kershaw's a class act.
I, for one, am glad she's not going anywhere.