by Michele Murphy, photos from Facebook
When there is an issue on the table that is likely to make a significant difference in the pocketbook of the electorate, they are more likely to show up to vote.
While Saanich’s Nov. 15 municipal election may not enjoy the same turn-out that Scotland’s did (84.5% for those of you that missed it), and its issues may not be as big as forming a separate country (Republic of Saanich?), Saanich may be facing larger concerns than it has in the recent past – and as such – attract a larger voter response – or will it?
“The major issues were just starting to brew last election,” says Saanich mayoral candidate Richard Atwell. “They have now become the focus of this election,” he adds.
Mayor Frank Leonard would not comment at this time on whether the municipality faces what he feels are ‘big’ issues. He did say that he approaches elections as more of a performance review. “The residents and I discuss how I have worked with Council and the community to achieve our goals,” he explains.
When asking Atwell what the major issues in Saanich are he responds, “Sewage treatment, amalgamation and CRD governance now take centre-stage. We have reached an impasse on all three and in order to move ahead, we need new faces on Saanich Council. We can no longer keep kicking-the-can down the road.”
Saanichites have a history of being ballot-box averse in municipal elections. The 2005 and 2008 elections saw only 19 and 21% of eligible voters show up to make their mark. Even the 2011 election – an election that saw a significant mayoral candidate come forward to challenge the often-acclaimed Mayor – only saw a minimal improvement over previous elections with 75 per cent of voters choosing to stay home.
The media-of-the-day framed the 2011 campaign that saw retired Saanich South MLA and former (three-times elected) Saanich municipal councillor David Cubberley bid for Saanich’s top-job as primarily a popularity contest naming no substantive issues facing the electorate.
Could it be the disinterest in the democratic process was a result of asking the public to play judge in a personality contests instead of thoughtfully considering the actual issues facing their community?
Let’s take a look at some of the issues that have been identified:
Atwell comes to the race as the founder and organizer of both Stop a Bad Plan and The RITE Plan, two organizations that were born out of a frustration with the sewage treatment plan that the CRD has created.
Atwell says, “The sewage project in present form will come with a substantial and long-term tax increase which will ultimately impact everything else that we want to achieve in Saanich. We cannot afford to pass this debt onto the next generation and so we must find a better value solution, but so far no one on council is looking.”
Leonard told the Victoria Times Colonist last May that he feels that, “The Capital Regional District should go back to the province for help in finding a solution to its sewage treatment dilemma – only this time it should knock on a different door.” Adding that he felt that given the number of years Saanich has been at this and the circumstances it finds itself in, having the government’s help to move to the next stage would be worthwhile.
On amalgamation Leonard told Saanich Voice Online, “The current campaign to reduce the number of small municipalities is not a debate Saanich need be a part of.”
Atwell says that he supports asking the province to study amalgamation. “The public wants to weigh-in with their opinion but so far Mayor Frank Leonard and the rest of Saanich Council have refused to allow even a question on the municipal ballot,” says Atwell, adding, “that’s undemocratic.”
Leonard was quoted recently as saying that, “The only government bigger than Saanich around here is the CRD, and that doesn’t help the bigger is better argument either.” Perhaps not a glowing endorsement of our regional problem-solving body.
Atwell feels that the CRD has become dysfunctional with the current players. “CRD decisions affect everything that we do, from transportation solutions to waste management and other infrastructure,” says Atwell. “We must find affordable solutions and for that we need new decision makers who can work collaboratively with others to find them.”
What issues exist and how Saanich mayoral candidates propose that they will lead Saanich through these issues may make a significant difference both in the lives and pocketbooks of
Saanich residents. Are these the issues that matter most to you? What more do the candidates have to say? SVO encourages you to check out the candidate’s websites, send them an email, attend an all-candidates meeting.
Whatever issues are important to you, getting informed and turning up to vote is your best chance to have your say on them. While there won’t be a vote on Saanich becoming its own country there are important issues being decided and you don’t want to be left out.
Go to www.saanich.ca/elections for more info on the Nov 15 Saanich elections. Oct 10th will be the closing of the nomination period, at which time we’ll know all the candidates.
Meet Patrick Sixto – orchardist extraordinaire
Article and photos by Ed Johnson
“So,” I smile, “if it starts with a ‘G’ you do it.”
“Yes, but I figure I had better leave the girls alone,” Patrick laughs.
“We will stick to gardening, then.”
Patrick’s laid back style must come from his childhood in Trinidad where gardening was taught in school and each family grew what they could to supplement their diet. Patrick’s big day came when, as a teenager, he was given his own plot at home to tend. The staples in his garden were corn and cassava, the latter being a starchy root full of vitamins and amino acids grown in tropical and subtropical locations throughout the world. In North America dried cassava is known as tapioca, but the root itself has a panoply of uses which makes interesting reading on Wikipedia.
“My wife and I moved here ten years ago after 23 years in Calgary, and we like it. I just wish I had more land than a city lot to grow more fruit trees–if my wife would let me!”
Patrick is no slouch, though, when it comes to using the land that he’s got. Besides the 65 or so apple trees, he also grows his own onions, garlic, beets, corn, carrots, strawberries, asparagus, blueberries, rasp-berries, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, plums, squash – the list goes on.
The reader may wonder how 65 apple trees could fit on a city lot and still leave room for a house. The answer lies in cordon planting. As can be seen in the accompanying video, Patrick plants his trees in an angled (oblique) cordon with dwarf trees grown at forty-five degrees, just two or three feet apart and allowed to grow no more than five feet high. You can purchase cordons all ready to plant, or if more adventurous, learning the art of grafting rootstock can open up many new possibilities.
“A dozen cordons can easily out-produce a full grown standard apple tree, and they are much easier to pick!”, he explains. “People will be surprised at how much they can grown in a small area. I have 60 plus apple trees in an area of 50 x 100 feet that yields more than 1000 apples
The busiest time for Patrick is in the springtime, but he says he averages about three hours a day. “You don’t have to be retired to be a part-time gardener,” he says. The biggest time waster in his opinion is the lawn. Mowing, edging, raking leaves time would be better spent growing food, he feels. “Lawn maintenance takes up more of my time than anything else.”
An automated watering system with drip hoses, on the other hand, is a necessary time saver-and conservation of water is an added bonus. Patrick learned at an early age to be frugal with resources. “It is much different in Trinidad, where we had to save all the rainwater we could in the six month rainy season to get us through the dry season. The barrels we used had to be covered with netting to keep out the mosquitos, and an inspector visited regularly just to make sure.”
“But there are lots of ways to grow food and look after ourselves, I think more and more people seem to be doing it.”
This year Patrick is trying out a new system for preserving apples well into next spring. It uses practically no energy and may even save one appliance from the landfill. He also has a unique method of fertilizing his orchard using a common “bilaterally symmetrical invertebrate.” Do you want to learn how to keep the birds off your strawberries without netting? All of these tips and more can be found in the video which follows.
Who’s not asking and why and who’s asking – and what?
by Roger Stonebanks
Some residents in Greater Victoria will vote Nov. 15 on whether they want a study of amalgamation – or to express support for amalgamation. And some won’t. It depends on where we live. And also on what the ballot question actually says.
The amalgamation campaign is being pressed under the banner “Amalgamation Yes” by the Capital Region Municipal Amalgamation Society. (See www.amalgamationyes.ca).
On the Saanich Peninsula, Central Saanich and Sidney residents will have a non-binding referendum but North Saanich council turned down the idea. Saanich council won’t be balloting residents.
Central Saanich voters will face this question on the ballot paper – “Should the District of Central Saanich petition the Province to fund a cost/benefit analysis of an amalgamation of Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney? Yes or No.”
Sidney voters will see this on Nov. 15 – “Are you in favour of a provincially-funded study to investigate the feasibility, costs and implications of amalgamating the three municipalities of the Saanich Peninsula?”
Retiring Sidney Mayor Larry Cross and some councillors are opposed to amalgamation but not to asking residents what they think. Amalgamation, said Cross, is “not in the best interests of Sidney.”
North Saanich council will not be putting any question to its residents.
“The main reasons were the opinion of most that amalgamation could only increase municipal cost, increase debt and increase taxes,” Mayor Alice Finall told Saanich Voice Online (SVO).
“With respect to my own opinion, I have had the opportunity to look into the extensive research on this question. This shows, with a number of examples, that contrary to popular belief, amalgamation does not save money but costs money, usually much more than anticipated. It also confirms that satisfactory levels of services tend to drop and access to local representatives is diminished. There are few economies of scale.”
She also said the peninsula municipalities already share certain services, a point echoed by Central Saanich Coun. Zeb King.
Saanich council, it is clear, won’t be putting the issue to residents.
“The current campaign to reduce the number of small municipalities is not a debate Saanich need be a part of,” Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard told SVO.
“We are one of the 10 largest municipalities in BC, are five times the geographic size of Victoria and our population of 115,000 is 40 per cent larger and we have 1,500 employees. The only larger local government in the region is the CRD and many would say that proves bigger isn’t better.
“Should ever a future council want to engage the public on this issue, I’d prefer one where there is factual information and a funded ‘yes’ and ‘no’ side. Currently this year the only information is from the advocates who have funding from the downtown business community.”
Coun. Susan Brice concurred with published comments by Mayor Leonard, in particular this one – “Saanich’s sprawling farms, parks and urban areas, lakes and streams take a small army of 1500 municipal employees and increasing those responsibilities won’t necessarily result in efficiencies.”
Another Saanich councillor, Vic Derman, said Saanich residents have not demonstrated wide support for putting the issue on the ballot and the question that Amalgamation Yes poses (asking if residents are in favour of reducing the number of municipalities) is “far too vague.” He said any decision on some form of amalgamation should be preceded by an “extensive process of public debate on the pros and cons. Only after such a debate could the general public make an informed decision.” Amalgamation Yes, he said, “has given no assurances of such a debate and are certainly not an appropriate organization to conduct one.”
Elsewhere in the region, Victoria (where the question will be, “Are you in favour of reducing the number of municipalities in Greater Victoria through amalgamation”), and Esquimalt and Langford residents, will get to express an opinion. Oak Bay residents might – a notice of motion will be before council on Sept. 29 which was after SVO’s deadline. In the “no vote” or unlikely to hold a vote category are Sooke, Highlands, View Royal, Metchosin and Colwood.
AMALGAMATION – UPDATED
Just as this issue of Saanich Voice Online came out, there were several new developments on the amalgamation question in the Nov. 15 municipal election:
Oak Bay council decided on Sept. 29, after SVO’s deadline, to ask voters on Nov. 15 this question – “Are you in favour of the District of Oak Bay being amalgamated into a larger regional municipality?”
Both votes would be non-binding and require simply “yes” or “no” from voters.
Esquimalt council decided on Sept. 29 (after SVO press-time) to put two non-binding questions to voters:
“1. Are you in favour of the Township of Esquimalt exploring options to achieve efficiencies by further sharing some services with other municipalities? Yes or No.
“2. Are you in favour of exploring the reduction of the number of municipalities within Greater Victoria through amalgamation? Yes or No.”
According to Langford Municipal Hall, they will have the following non-binding question on their November 15th ballot:
“Are you in favour of the City of Langford being amalgamated into a larger regional municipality? YES or NO
North Saanich had a change of heart as well – as of Monday, October 6th – Councillor McBride’s request to Council to consider adding a question regarding amalgamation to the ballot was granted. As a result, the following question will be added to the North Saanich ballot:
“Are you in favour of a study, provincially funded, to investigate the feasibility, costs and implications of amalgamating the municipalities of North Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney.”
While the District of Saanich will be adding a question to their Nov 15th election ballots, it won’t be a amalgamation question. The Oct 6th Council meeting saw Saanich council unanimously endorsed Mayor Frank Leonard’s proposed addition of the question, “Do you support Council initiating a community-based review of the governance structure and policies within Saanich and our partnerships within the Region?”
Check back here for updates as they come in.
Flavourite Music now at the ol’ Marley Farm
by Michele Murphy, photo by Ed Johnson
Saanichton-born and raised Lori J. Ward and her Austrian husband, Teo Orlando, are transforming the old Marley Farm into what they hope will be a world-class retreat for musicians, artists, foodies, farmers, gardeners, and travellers. Their energy, creativity and talent paired up with arguably the most awe-inspiring setting on the planet, just may be the perfect match.
A graduate of Parklands High School, Ward, 28, started in electronic music right out of high school. Studying under some of the best DJ’s of the day, she became the first female DJ on the West Coast. Within two years, she had played all over North America. Ward found opportunities in New York City, London, and Berlin, the birthplace of Flavourite Music, before she settled in Austria. Ward’s stage name became ‘Lori, the HIFI Princess’ and she was billed throughout the EU as Europe’s leading lady of techno. Today, she has recorded eight of her own albums and is considered by some to be one of the top female DJs.
It was in Austria that Ward met her husband Orlando, 31. Born in Italy, the hyperpolyglot (six languages) artist made his living as a popular DJ and producer working throughout Europe. His strong background in music production quickly made him an integral part of Flavourite Music. The music label offers production, recording, design, promotion and even
education, with Orlando running the Flavourite Music School (FMS). Since Flavourite Music’s start in 2007 it has over 250 tracks and 80 album releases to its credit.
The couple is excited about bringing their EU connections to Canada. Working with German pop and rock musicians, some of Europe’s best house DJs and hip-hop artists, Orlando feels confident that they will attract world-class artists to the farm. “It’s inspiring to be here. Working hard in the studio and then being able to sit back, looking over the hillside for a little downtime, it’s rejuvenating,” says Orlando.
“The music that we’re getting from our people here is phenomenal,” Ward explains of their client’s work. “The creativity just seems to flow so easily in this incredible setting.”
While music and farming seem to be a perfect fit, Ward confesses that the inspiration for farm life actually came from the financial reality of renting a studio in the Rock Bay district of downtown Victoria – as well as an office space and an apartment. She decided that all they needed was a mansion and a roommate to make this all work. When the farm with its 5,000 square- foot home came up for rent right across the street from her childhood home, Ward was sure that the universe was speaking directly to her.
Since they moved in just two months ago, already many of their plans for the farm have become realities. They have chickens and a vegetable garden bursting with produce. Their music school is booking up, their spacious guest rooms are listed on both AirBnB.com and B&B.com and their recording studio is in full- swing.
Ward is also excited about hosting events at the farm retreat. “The whole property lends itself so well to gathering and connecting with people. It’s the perfect setting for celebration,” she explains. The couple feel that with this spectacular location, the local harvest, the caliber of musicians that they can attract and their event management experience they will be able to offer unique top-quality music events, weddings, and fundraisers. Ward is researching local by-laws and looks forward to working with the community to make their events successful for everyone. She notes that Marley Farms hosted the sold-out FarmFolk CityFolk annual fundraiser, Feast of the Fields, in 2011.
When asked how it feels to be back in the Valley Ward answers, “When I returned to Victoria I thought my journey was over – now I am thinking that it’s just beginning. I have come full circle and I’m really excited about the future. I’m looking at the valley through totally new eyes.”
For more info on Flavourite Music go to www.flavouritemusic.ca
by Roger Stonebanks
If history is any guide (and it often is), the winner in the Nov. 15 municipal and school board elections will be – apathy. The majority of voters will simply chose not to vote – and in significant numbers.
In the District of Saanich, the most populous municipality in the region, three-quarters of eligible voters are likely to give election day a pass. In the 2011 election, there were 84,546 eligible voters but only 21,134 turned up at the polls – 25 per cent. It was worse in 2008 – the turnout was 20.61 per cent. And worse again in 2005 – 19.13 per cent. In 2002 it was better – 24.6 per cent. The turnout does get better in the smaller Saanich Peninsula municipalities. In 2011 it was 32.93 per cent in Central Saanich, 41.2 per cent in North Saanich and 31 per cent in Sidney.
Why is there such disinterest – and what to do about it? Exhortations to “civic duty” clearly haven’t worked and neither has general hand-wringing about a sorry state of affairs. “If you discover the magic key, let me know,” said Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff.
Saanich council decided this year to reinstate mobile voting stations for seniors’ facilities – and to continue mail-in ballots. As well, a new advanced polling station will be established at UVic.
“Over the years I ask people why they don’t vote,” said Coun. Brownoff. “The answer has been they are satisfied with Saanich council. Young families tell me they are too busy to get engaged. I’m not sure how to engage university age youth to vote at the municipal level. The level they are more concerned with are provincial and federal. They don’t seem to appreciate what can be accomplished at the local level.”
Coun. Brownoff thinks the importance of voting at the local level needs to be captured in the school curriculum by engaging youth at the middle school level; try to connect councils with university and college students; more advanced polling times, which Saanich is doing, and more information about what municipalities have the power to manage; and education on the Capital Regional District and roles of directors. Mobile voting units for seniors facilities and more advanced polling stations would help.
Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said that in campaigning in neighbourhoods, “in a good year, you’d hope one-third vote, one-third might have voted but didn’t, and one-third wouldn’t vote no matter what convenience we provided. As for my own experience, I find that door-to-door canvassing identifies people who are likely to vote (so two-thirds at best) and campaigns work to get those that are sympathetic out on election day. So, by default it becomes apparent at the door who is not going to vote – the one-third – just not engaged in community, perhaps moving from home to home frequently, and don’t identify with any local issues or candidates.
“So as for those who seem interested enough to vote, sadly I think only half of them still vote – some of that their own lack of motivation and some of that issues of convenience. Motivation? The candidates and issues are key. So are the candidate campaigns, since we are low-budget compared to federal and provincial, the voters are not reached in the same way as we don’t have the media or volunteers to get out the vote.
“Convenience? That’s what our staff keep trying to overcome – mail-in ballots, more advance polls, mobile polls, where polls are, on and on.”
Saanich Coun. Dean Murdock says that, “On the doorstep I hear a lot of families talk about the cost of housing, frustration
over traffic, or lack of proper sidewalks. These are all things that your council can work to change or influence. Paying attention to who is on the ballot and casting a vote for candidates that will fight for your concerns is how we effect change.”
He supports “all possible steps to improve access to voting” and specifically mobile advance polls and a polling station at UVic. Voter information cards are a good way to raise awareness about where and when to vote. “There is always more that can be done and I am keen to hear ideas that would get more people to the polls.” He added that Saanich staff have been asked to look into putting voting stations at places like shopping centres and recreation centres.
For info on where, when, and how to vote:
An excited crowd of elders, chiefs, politicians, and families turned up for the ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the new Tsartlip Nation Gas Station and Convenience Store on Stelly’s Cross Rd. on Aug 21. The traditional ceremony offered a blessing for the new building and staff followed by a salmon barbeque.
In this time of ‘food security’ awareness on the peninsula, there are few people that can justly claim that they are mostly self-sufficient with the food they can grow on their own property. While Saanich Voice Online has profiled Bill Morgan and Anne Freidank who manage to do so on a normal sized city lot, there are others who are fortunate enough to have a little more room to carry the project even further.
Wayne and Lynne Brander combine a prolific vegetable garden and fruit orchard on little more than one acre in Saanich where they have lived for the past thirty eight years. In an english garden style setting among flowers gracing the house, one could be completely unaware of the abundance grown around back.
Nestled among the many apple and fig trees are not only a bee hive from which they extract many pounds of honey, but a moveable chicken coop with four chickens which gives them a supply of eggs year around. “We eat, process and store everything we can on this property. The only things we require from the grocery store are dairy products. We get our meat from Ireland’s farm, about a kilometer away.”
Always trying new techniques, Wayne ‘rediscovered’ trench composting, which is nothing more than burying kitchen scraps six inches or more in the soil. “No pests to bother it, and no need to turn it over”, he explains. “You can plant some crops over it in the first year, even. If you have the room, it works better than any plastic composter and the soil is the immediate benefactor.”
When they moved to the property back in the 70′s, they planted a standard spartan apple tree which grew to more than fifteen feet in height. With the help of BC Fruit Testers (BCFTA.ca), Wayne learned the art of grafting onto dwarf rootstock, so that the new apple trees he planted would only grow to six or eight feet and still produce the same amount of full sized apples. “Not only did it save space,” he says, “but picking and pruning does not require a ladder either.” Besides his ‘designer’ apple trees, Wayne also has dwarf cherry, plum and pear trees and all types of berries and raspberries, “basically everything that can grow in our climate”.
And that includes tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, kale — the list goes on. No chemical fertilizers are used, only chicken and horse manure.
Figs are a special fruit for Victoria gardens. They love this climate and, “you won’t find them in the stores because the shelf life is a matter of 48 hours. They must be picked when fully ripe and either consumed or dried, but growing them is quite easy,” Wayne says.
“This is basically about getting people to grow their own stuff. We are moving into an interesting period where our leaders are starting to throw trade sanctions around food. Just this week (mid August), we have Russia, with a population of 150 million saying they are not going to buy certain Canadian agricultural products. The bottom line with these sanctions will either be shortages or rapid increases in prices,” he advises.
The bottom line for would-be gardeners is that what Wayne and Lynne are doing on their property can be scaled down to a city lot or even a small backyard. Most municipalities now allow chickens too. A search of composting methods will yield techniques to give good soil from leaves, vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc. – probably things the average person has been discarding as ‘waste’ or polluting the air with smoke.
“Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.”
Mahatma Gandhi (1869—1948), Indian political and spiritual leader
Formed as a Charter on March 20, 1969 by 28 local men who saw a need for a service club, the Central Saanich Lions Club remains committed to community volunteer work by helping, leading, planning and supporting citizens and groups at the local, regional, national and international levels. The Central Saanich Lions Club was originally sponsored by the Sidney Lions Club and is part of Lions Club International whose mission statement is “to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.”
Over the past four decades, Central Saanich Lions Club members continue to uphold their motto—“we serve” by extending their acts of charity in two ways: (1) awarding grants to local, regional and national organizations such as the Canadian Diabetes Foundation, Peninsula Soccer Association, Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association and Sidney Lions Food Bank (Christmas Fund); and (2) providing manual labour and event coordination for such initiatives as the annual Christmas tree chip, firewood sales, annual Easter Egg Hunt, annual Halloween bonfire, various cookouts on the Saanich Peninsula as well as general landscaping and maintenance at Mount Newton Centre…just to name a few. Lions Club International is best known for its work in ensuring vision for all. In upholding this commitment, the Central Saanich Lions Club, in cooperation with School District #63 and local optometrists, provide vision screening/testing and eye glasses to students in need who require vision correction.
Most notably, the Central Saanich Lions Club’s initial acts of charity began in 1969 with Club members volunteering their time, labour as well as fundraising skills for various projects at Centennial Park on Wallace Drive. In Central Saanich Lions involvement in Centennial Park, Past Lions Ken MacDonald and Joe Sparrow documented the Club’s history with Centennial Park which included, but was not limited to, the following projects—“…one of the first Centennial Park projects that the new Lions Club undertook was the building of a lacrosse box….In 1973, the Club prepared the ground, constructed the brick wall and assembled all of the equipment in the current (children’s) playground….In September 1983, the Municipality (of Central Saanich) approached the Lions about the possibility of creating a much needed bowling green in the Park….In 1990, the Club spent 40 hours seeding the Park’s soccer pitches. In a later project, the Club supplied labour for fencing the soccer area…the Club supplied labour to construct the Babe Ruth concession and washroom facilities….Centennial Park is a prime example of the value of voluntary work in drawing people together to supply needed facilities.”
According to Ken Marriette, Central Saanich Lions Club Member, “approximately 75% of the work that we do, stays in the community…the remaining 25% of our work supports projects on southern Vancouver Island and select national and international initiatives.” Marriette is the Central Saanich Lions Club’s Public Relations Representative where he liaises with the media about upcoming Club events, coordinates guest speakers for presentations to the Club membership, and promotes Club membership.
For Marriette, volunteering with the Club is about giving back to the community. He recalled how his parents shared with him at an early age that “charity begins at home.” This September, Marriette is entering his sixth year as a Central Saanich Lions Club Member. When Marriette initially joined the Central Saanich Lions Club, he was invited as a perspective member by a Lions Club “sponsor” to attend one of the Club’s general meetings. Marriette was moved by the Club members’ approval of funds to be provided to a local family in need for specific disability resources. After bearing witness to the approval of said funds in a unanimous vote, Marriette knew right then and there that this was the service club that aligned with his core values of commitment, camaraderie, volunteerism and connection to one’s community in terms of helping local citizens and their families when they are in need of assistance.
At present, Central Saanich Lions Club members are raising funds for the creation of a skateboard park which may “potentially” be located at Stelly’s High School. This fall, at the start of the school year in September, you will see the Lions “in action” cooking for several schools in the District. Other upcoming events in September 2014 are the Terry Fox Run (September 14, 2014 at 9:00 am—Centennial Park on Wallace Drive) where the Lions will be preparing breakfast for the annual Run, and “An English car affair in the park” (September 14, 2014 from 11:00 am—2:00 pm at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site) where the Lions will be serving meals at this event which is coordinated by the Victoria English Car Club.
Led by Ken Burkowski (President of the Central Saanich Lions Club), the Lions meet at their “den” (aka. the Lions Hall at 6994 East Saanich Road in Saanichton, BC) on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month for their general meetings. Marriette and his fellow Lions recognize that to sustain their community projects and fundraising endeavours, capacity building is needed in the form of increased Club membership. The Central Saanich Lions Club currently has 42 members and, on average, they are approximately 50+ years of age. Marriette indicated that “through the Club Improvement Program, we are looking for ways to attract new members and engage in promotion about our service to the community…in particular, we are exploring concepts related to having a portable information booth when we are hosting or participating in various community events, creating a Junior Chapter Program of the Central Saanich Lions to engage ‘the next generation’ of Lions which includes establishing a social media presence. In order to achieve all that we want to do and raise the money that will be required to do it, we need to increase our (membership) numbers to continue our commitment to serving our community.”
Did you know?
Founded in 1917, Lions Club International is the world’s largest service club organization! There are 1.35 million Lions club members worldwide—working in over 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries.
The Central Saanich Lions Club is part of Lions International District “I-19” which includes 51 other Lions clubs on Vancouver Island, BC and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state.
Saanich Peninsula trivia: The lions “den”
According to Past Central Saanich Lion Joe Sparrow, the Central Saanich Lions’ current “den” (aka. Lions Hall Building on East Saanich Road) served the Saanich Peninsula in one semblance or another since 1894. The Hall was originally built by the Temperance Society with the original trustees being Harry Tanner, Alfred Gale, Harold Oates, William Michell and Andrew Stewart.
The Temperance Hall was built to provide a place where abstainers could conduct social activities and was available for use by other organizations strictly on a non-alcoholic basis. Organizations such as the South Saanich Women’s Institute and the South Saanich Farmers’ Institute utilized said facility in the early 20th century.
The Central Saanich Lions Club’s original “den” was at the Keating Coffee Shop near the Peninsula Co-op Store. In 1974, Lions Club President Ron Tidman, along with fellow Lions Ed Gait and Dick Gibson, convinced the District of Central Saanich Council that the former Temperance Hall (owned by the District) had a viable future, and that it was still valuable to the community if placed in the hands of the Lions Club. The council concurred. From 1974 to present, the Lions Club has held the Hall on East Saanich Road on a $1.00 registered lease, on a five-year renewable basis.
Did you know?
The Central Saanich Lions Club stores its cookout trailer at the Central Saanich fire hall. The cookout trailer has grills, tents and chairs that can be utilized as a remote/mobile grill for cooking at a triage center in the event of an emergency or related disaster in Central Saanich.
As I sit in Dana Waite’s back yard and listen to her speak about the Paper Maché and its humble beginning, her passion and love for this newspaper shine through. “..I think it’s a fall in love kind of idea; it’s a sweet little idea. It generates enthusiasm.” Previously a journalist and elementary school teacher, Dana says “the idea of a paper for kids was sort of a natural morphing of those two particular careers” and led to the creation of the Paper Maché Newspaper as a place to showcase and promote children’s stories, drawings and other creative ideas.
Originally, the Paper Maché was started in 2002 as a part time venture, however Dana had to stop for several years before restarting the newspaper full time in 2012. This time she was faced with challenges that had not been present in 2002. Being primarily funded by limited advertising (strictly monitored by the school boards) Dana sought out her advertisers and sponsors from 2002. By 2012 many businesses had adopted a much smaller advertising budget following the recession, and would no longer advertise with her. Although she has now managed to regain some of her former advertisers and a few new ones, she is looking to the future growth of the paper and possibly expanding its reach.
Currently, the newspaper can be found in all elementary schools in Victoria and Sooke school districts. Dana has faced challenges getting into all eight schools in Saanich school district. The paper is published monthly from September to June, and distributed to schools, libraries and rec. centers. Dana currently publishes around 6000 copies of the Paper Maché, but looks to possibly increase this number in coming years. All submissions are done by elementary age children across Victoria and between 70 and 80 of roughly 500 submissions are published each month. Dana has observed that kids love the format of the newspaper because it is so much like a real newspaper. It has a “grown-up” feel.
When Dana isn’t organizing the paper or busy enjoying her garden on the peninsula, she can be found going to schools and reading to students 2-3 times a week. The Paper Maché has garnered many fans among both children who create the paper and teachers who see improved confidence in their students after having a story or drawing published. “..The experience I had as a journalist, and that wonderful feeling of seeing your work in print was such a self esteem boost for me personally, I thought well, kids would probably like that and be able to get some benefit from that as well…” she says.
Dana has a created a truly kid oriented product that can help in so many ways to boost confidence, encourage creativity, and bring a focus on literacy in a fun setting. She has had great feedback from grandparents, and former “writers” who have kept their papers for years. She would love to see the paper distributed in all schools in the Saanich district in addition to her current readers across the public schools in Victoria and Sooke. She also hopes to expand up Island one day and potentially broach the possibility with private schools where she currently distributes to Pacific Christian and a class at Glen Lyon. As the paper has non-profit status, it cannot survive without the help of sponsors and advertisers.
For more information about Dana or the Paper Maché, please check out the Facebook page or her website:
You can also email her at: email@example.com
by Ron Hlady
On Saturday, June 28, 2014, some seventy friends gathered at the Central Saanich Lawn Bowling to pay tribute to a wonderful lady. The afternoon tea, arranged by Ruth and provided by Jazzaniah Catering, was an amazing afternoon for all to witness Ruth’s remarkable achievement of 100 years.
Kindly emceed by Geoffrey Cochrane, the event began with tributes and anecdotes from Trevor DeCasseres, who bowled a lot with Ruth, and understood her prowess and competitiveness. CSLB president, Michael Johnson, presented Ruth with certificates from M.L.A. Gary Holman, M.P. Elizabeth May, Governor-General David Johnston and Queen Elizabeth II. He was particularly proud to be able to present Ruth with a Lifetime Membership in CSLB. Others were long-time friend, Peter Kirchner, Central Saanich Councillor, Zeb King, whose Grandparents were friends of Ruth, even Ruth’s Reflexology and Applied Kinesiology prof told how an 89 year old took the course, became a friend, and now promotes natural exercise.
Ruth knows that birthdays are very special: she has always called her friends on their birthdays and when Michael asked for a show of hands from those who have had a birthday phone call with Ruth singing Happy Birthday, seventy plus arms were raised.
Ruth is really appreciative of all the support and attention she has received from her well-wishers and those who helped out. The event on June 28 was a culmination of events honouring Ruth, from groups like exercise, singing, bridge. Ruth had just returned from Germany where she was feted by family and friends: including a family band and fireworks.
Central Saanich Lawn Bowling is proud to be able to honour Ruth and look forward to many more years of her positive influence on all of us.