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y “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I’m not sure who came up with that little pearl of wisdom, but there certainly is an element of truth in it when talking about Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. What’s changing? It seems there’s always a new business springing up, there are always new houses and residential development, new people moving in and others moving on. There’s downtown beautification, arena upgrades, new shopping opportunities and enhanced parklands. There’s improved transportation, enhanced services and added amenities. New places – new faces. Nothing seems to stay the same. The catalyst for all this change remains the same, however. It’s the people that have lived here for

generations. It’s the people who come here to enjoy the lifestyle and opportunity. It’s the people who strive to improve our communities without compromising the unique qualities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. In “Our Community, Our People”, we will focus on a few of the people who make positive change to maintain our traditional values. Please read on, and enjoy. Jim Coulter Publisher

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Leading by example Story by Monisha Martins

Darrell Pilgrim is an army brat, albeit one who did not grow up near barracks or bombing ranges. He matured in a military of a different kind – the Salvation Army, an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. Pilgrim’s parents were Salvation Army ministers, whose work took them across the country. “The longest I’ve lived any where was four years,” says Pilgrim.”I got to see the whole country.” Originally from Newfoundland, the West Coast left a lasting impression on Pilgrim. He remembers snippets of living in Prince Rupert for three and a half years, things like eating salmon and Canyon City, now called Gitwinksihlkw, a Nisga’a Village in the Nass River valley. While living in Newfoundland, he became a die-hard Canucks fan. But following in his parents’ footstep wasn’t

preordained. After high school, Pilgrim, who plays the tuba, set out to study music. “I’m a performer at heart,” he says with a laugh. Pilgrim can’t explain what happened after he completed his degree, but something switched and steered him towards the Salvation Army. His first posting with the army was as a youth pastor in Bellingham. Fifteen years later, he’s director of the Caring Place Ministries, the Sally Ann’s mission in Maple Ridge. “I believe that the Caring Place is here for a purpose, we are here to care. It doesn’t matter who comes through our door, what position of life they are in, we want to care for them,” says Pilgrim. At first glance, the Caring Place is a shelter, a place that feeds and houses the homeless. Pilgrim, however, knows the place means much more. “I think it’s great we are on this busy corner and we’ve open 24/7,” he says. “We’ve had people come here because they’ve had a flat tire, they’ve had an accident. In the middle of the night, our lights are on so there is somewhere to go.” Since he arrived at the Caring Place in 2008, Pilgrim has tried to broaden the community’s perception of it. The Caring Place now runs a school lunch program, a catering service, helps sponsors kids to Camp Sunrise and is committed to working with its partners in the community. “We don’t believe we are an emergency shelter or just a church and a meal program,” says Pilgrim. “We are a community centre for people who are dealing with poverty and loneliness. Our goal is to provide as many services as we can to help them grow in their lives.” In Pilgrim’s office, there is a picture embossed

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with the words of William Booth, who founded the Salvation Army. “While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight – I’ll fight to the very end.”

Photo by Monisha Martins

The quote guides Pilgrim’s philosophy on life. “We think our society has all these problems all of a sudden, but they have always been there,” he says. It doesn’t take a saint to do what he does. Pilgrim just keeps in mind that golden rule – Love thy neighbour as thyself. “Treating people like you want to be treated is what life is about,” says Pilgrim. “I try to lead by example.”

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Life Happens. Let us help you. Legal smarts and experience for individuals and businesses. John Becker is a business lawyer with decades of experience helping individuals, businesses and family businesses. Gene Fraser’s the lawyer you want on your team in a dispute and in court involving personal injury and estate issues, medical negligence, and ICBC claims. Sherri Robinson explains very complicated matters clearly. She’ll help structure your business and personal affairs in the most tax-efficient way. Elizabeth Duerr works on family and child-related issues, and also Get Paid matters, our online program that helps clients with outstanding debt. Ryan Dueckman practices in litigation, family law, and ICBC claims. His approachable style puts clients at ease and helps in settlement negotiations with ICBC. Adrienne Dale practiced law in South Africa since 1995. As a paralegal, she works in family law and has proven negotiating skills. She will be called to the BC bar in the fall. Eric Mollema has more than 15 years of experience. He practiced business law and civil litigation in South Africa. He works as a paralegal as he awaits admittance to the BC bar.

Lacrosse boss helps sport grow Story By Robert Mangelsdorf

Lacrosse has been good to Lance Andre, so it’s only fitting he gives back. Despite being part-owner of a busy construction company, Andre has managed to find time to serve as president of not only the Maple Ridge Burrards Western Lacrosse Association franchise, but the Ridge Meadows Minor Lacrosse Association, as well. If that wasn’t enough, Andre is also head coach of the Burrards bantam A1 team, and assistant coach of the peewee A1 team. “It’s been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” he says of the sport he loves. Andre first picked up a lacrosse stick at age five while growing up in Coquilam. He rose through the ranks of the Adanacs minor lacrosse association, playing at the intermediate A and junior A levels before being drafted by the Adanacs senior men’s squad in the first round of the 1992 WLA draft. Andre retired in 1998 as a member of the Burnaby Lakers, and for three years had no contact with the sport that consumed his life for as long as he can remember. “I needed a break, I guess,” he says. “I didn’t pick up a stick, I didn’t watch one game.” But when Andre’s sons showed an interest in the sport, it wasn’t long before he was back involved in it. “My parents were always involved when I was in lacrosse, so I thought it would be a good to do the same,” he says. Andre hopes the Burrards’ name will

Photo by Robert Mangelsdorf

one day carry the same weight as the Adanacs and the Salmonbellies do. If the organization keeps growing as it has in the past five years, it just might happen. With 500 box lacrosse players and 200 field lacrosse, the Burrards are one of the largest local sports organizations, and the third largest lacrosse association in B.C. This season, for the first time, the association’s girls’ program fielded a team at every age level – from novice to junior. This year also marks the inaugural season for the association’s intermediate A squad, which finished its first season with a 10-8 record. Andre says he’d like to see the addition of a junior A franchise, giving elite players the chance to play locally from the novice level to senior men’s, just as he did in Coquitlam. “We have a great bunch of people and everyone is doing it for the right reason,” he says. “Everyone wants to see the association grow.”

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Sorting it out in Hammond Story By Michael Hall

Leanne Koehn’s parents were among the founding members of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society 40 years ago. Now she’s trying to make the environment in Hammond more friendly. Leanne, born in 1975, grew up in Webster’s Corners on a hobby farm with chickens, a large backyard garden, and a six-acre forest, where she played with her brother. They also played at the recycling depot in Maple Ridge, climbing around on “piles of stuff” at the old Cottonwood site. Her parents were bent on keeping the earth green, and kept those piles out of the landfills. The recycling theme was just as present at home. “We always sorted,” she said. “My parents were experimenting to see how selfsufficient they could become. We were on a well, we recycled and composted everything we could, we raised our own meat and eggs, and we grew or picked lots of vegetables, fruit, and nuts.” And every year for 16 years, that Leanne can remember, they went to Vancouver and took part in the peace march. She recalls walking across the Burrard Street Bridge to Sunset Beach. Her parents believed that society had much to offer, and them to it. Leanne attended Garibaldi secondary and offered herself to its theatre program, and student government. “I was a bit of a keener.” She played Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, then Dolly Parton’s character Truvy Jones in Steel Magnolias in her senior year. She would later be married in the theatre at Garibaldi. After high school, Leanne attended UBC, where she met her future husband, James Rowley. They were both in the theatre program, which was her major. His was English. After university, they both went to Japan to teach English. She taught at a private school, where she introduced students to Canadian culture and bunraku – Japanese puppet theatre. They lived in Japan for three years, and really appreciated the country’s rich history and traditions, ceremonies and festivals. But they never really had anyone to share them with. It wasn’t until Leanne and James were about to move home that they actually got to know their neighbours. They had passed one another, exchanged smiles. But when the community gathered outside their apartment for work parties to clean ditches, they were never invited. But then there were some abandoned kittens, and Leanne and James helped out, and began talking to their neighbours. But the first time they set foot in the community centre there was for their goodbye party. From that experience, Leanne decided she didn’t want people to ever feel left out or unwanted. 6

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

Leanne and James moved back to Vancouver and performed in theatre. She then got involved in event planning and worked as a casting assistant, getting to know the industry more. But it was a lot of contract work. And it wasn’t like performing. She had gained so much from theatre, like self-confidence, playing different characters and figuring out who they were, having empathy for them. “Everyone is capable of anything given the right circumstance.” But now her degree in theatre seemed “impractical.” She was a bit lost. The family moved to a modern town home in the Edmonds area of Burnaby, where they had Zoe, their first child. Leanne got involved in the strata council and got to know their neighbours. Meanwhile, James went back to teaching. With plans for a second child, they knew they needed more space. So they moved into her family’s Hammond home in 2007. It’s a craftsman style home on 205th Street that her grandfather, Carl Whitehead, built in 1923. It has a distinct front staircase and porch, and dentil molding as well as original stained glass windows and wainscoting in the living room, and a tongue-and-groove kitchen ceiling of cedar planks from the Hammond mill, where her grandfather worked. He originally purchased a block of land on what is now 114th Avenue, and built other homes there, too. He passed away, however, before Leanne was born. She remembers visiting the home to pick cherries as a child, when it was rented out, and was until she and James purchased it. It needed a bit of work. They renovated the kitchen, learned how to drywall and install flooring. Now they are applying for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the district, a long process that required much research, to make further upgrades and preserve heritage elements. Through it, though, and from just being in the home, Leanne feels closer to her grandparents and her family history. And her neighbours. When Leanne and James first moved to Hammond, they didn’t know anyone, like when they lived in Japan. But Leanne’s mother was so excited about them moving in, she introduced them to everyone. “I’m not sure how long it would have taken otherwise, Leanne added. Leanne and James hosted an open house their first Christmas in Hammond, and have continued to do so since. Some neighbours were curious to see the inside of the old house. Leanne fears that other houses in the neighbourhood from the same era, especially the small bungalows, will eventually be torn down. She hopes they can be maintained to preserve the character of the neighbourhood. Hammond has so much potential, the way she sees it. Inspired by Jim Diers’ workshop to take community building to the next level, Leanne and her neighbours have started a Facebook page (Hammond Neighbours), and are developing a website (www.hammondneighbours.ca), and recently organized a community party at the Hammond Community Centre. There was a free swim and a free cake. More than 200 neighbours took part.

As part of the event, organizers asked participants to share their ideas of how to make Hammond a better place, and to brainstorm about improvement projects. One idea is a community garden. Other focus areas include heritage preservation, community building, neighbourhood beautification, community safety and family activities. It’s those kind of initiatives that helped Leanne earn a Good Neighbour Award earlier this year from the District of Maple Ridge. Leanne and her neighbours have lots of ideas, and want to share them with their community. Where there is an empty lot, they see a community garden. They want to brighten up the chain link fence around the pool, and re-paint the community centre. They would also like to see public access to the waterfront in Hammond as in Port Haney, and some safe walking and cycling trails. Leanne’s brother and his family recently moved to Hammond from Ireland. “We were happy they wanted to live close by.” Leanne’s goal is to increase the happiness level in Hammond, make it more friendly. Leanne is no longer lost. She now manages communications and the education and outreach department for the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, the organization her parents helped form 40 years ago. And she lives in her mother’s childhood home, and is trying to build a better community, a safer one, maybe with more sidewalks, one where neighbours share step ladders, trade fruit and vegetables – basil for a tomato – maybe even professional services, taking advantage of the economy in the neighbourhood, sharing “gifts of the hands, heart and head” – skills, passion, and knowledge. “It’s not just economic gain to enrich your life,” Leanne says, “but having a community and society around that you can rely on.”

Photo by Michael Hall


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Olympian leads West Coast Auto Group FC to new heights Story By Robert Mangelsdorf

Misty Thomas knows a thing or two about working with elite athletes. In addition to managing the Canadian women’s soccer team, Thomas was the first Canadian to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympic Games. So it was no surprise the fledgling West Coast Auto Group Football Club jumped at the chance to bring her on board as the club’s executive director earlier this year. Just shy of six feet tall, Thomas hopes to lead the local soccer association to new heights. However, Thomas is the first to admit she’s no soccer expert. “For me, my first love has always been basketball,” she says. Thomas played college basketball for the NCAA Division 1 University of Nevada Las Vegas from 1982 to 1986, where she remains the program’s career leader in assists (658), is second in scoring (1,892 points) and sixth in career rebounds (790). In 1984, Thomas was a member of the Canadian women’s basketball team that finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

However, repeated knee injuries took their toll, and after nine surgeries, another Olympic appearance was out of the question. After playing for the Rebels, Thomas became an assistant coach with UNLV, then a head coach at the University of British Columbia, leading the Thunderbirds to their first Canada West title in 20 years in 1994. After retiring from basketball altogether in 1995, she became the youngest inductee ever into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. Thomas had been off the court for nearly a decade when she tried wheelchair basketball for the first time in 2005. “I knew a lot of people who were playing, got invited out and I loved it,” she says. While Thomas is able to walk, she was eligible for Paralympic play due to her

Photo by Robert Mangelsdorf

knee injuries. Nearly 25 years after she wore a Team Canada jersey at the 1984 Olympics, Thomas was once again in red and white as a member of the Canadian Paralympic basketball team at the 2008 Summer Olympic in Beijing, China. “It was an unexpected gift,” she says. “I thought my options for competing were all over.” Thomas has a masters of science degree in health and wellness and spent much of the past decade with the Sport Medicine Council of B.C., where she managed high performance athletes,

including the Vancouver Whitecaps. That led to the general manager role with the Canadian women’s national soccer team, which includes Maple Ridge’s Karina LeBlanc. Much like her position with the national squad, Thomas says she sees her role with West Coast Auto Group FC as logistical. “My role is about facilitation,” she says. “I want to get more people involved in soccer at every level … [and] provide more opportunities to athletes who want to go higher.” With the amalgamation of the Golden Ears and Pitt Meadows soccer clubs into West Coast Auto Group FC, Thomas says the new club has a lot of resources smaller clubs don’t. “We have 4,000 players,” she says. “We’re the largest club in B.C., and that’s significant.” Adding a franchise in the newly formed High Performance League will help give local players the chance to develop locally, instead of leaving to play for other clubs. Her hope is for players from around the Fraser Valley to look at West Coast Auto Group FC as a destination club to play for. “If you just want to kick the ball around, or if you dream of playing for Team Canada, the club can facilitate whatever you want to do in soccer,” she says.

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Making healthy communities Story By Robert Mangelsdorf

Healthy hospitals make for healthy communities, and perhaps no one knows that better than Rick Lascelle. Lascelle is a respiratory therapist at Ridge Meadows Hospital and heads up the hospital’s volunteer-run wellness and spirit committee, which aims to boost the morale of staff at the hospital. “It’s very critical to patient care,” he says. “Working in a hospital, you see the worst of the worst. Some days you can walk away with a pretty negative opinion about humanity.” Lascelle and the committee recently helped put on a staff appreciation day, and set up a staff gym to help hospital workers stay fit. “A lot of time it’s a thankless job, so we want to make sure we thank our staff,” he says. “There’s so many who go above and beyond on a daily basis.” Sandra Rankin, executive director for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, says Lascelle is a perfect example of just such a person. “If there’s an event that has to do with the hospital, you can bet that Rick is going to be there volunteering,” she says. Wether it’s the hospital’s annual fundraising gala, or the 10km Fund Run, or one of the many community clinics the hospital puts on, Lascelle is there. “I want to give back any way I can,” he says. “Besides, it’s fun. You get to interact with public, and

tion of e selec g r la ciders, ve a rs and We ha le o e o c , hat ar beer pirits t s ice cold d n a . ed ines, ely pric fine w petitiv m o c all

see past patients.” Lascelle first began working for Fraser Health at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster in 1993. But after years of hectic work and a long daily commute, he jumped at the chance to move to Ridge Meadows Hospital, and work close to his Maple Ridge home. Lascelle says he felt much more invested working in a community hospital in the town where he lives. “I never got involved at Royal Columbian because it was so big,” he says. “But being in a smaller place, you really feel like you are part of the community here.” One person can make a significant difference at a community hospital. “The sense of community, the sense of unity is much more prevalent than at a larger site,” says Lascelle. “You can get lost in a larger hospital.” Lascelle is a common sight at any fundraising function for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, helping to raise money for new equipment. “Budgets being what they are, we can’t afford everything we need,” he says. “The foundation has been great at getting us equipment we wouldn’t otherwise get.” Lascelle is far from alone in his efforts, as he is quick to point out. Much of the staff at the hospital choose to volunteer their time to help improve care for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents. Those very same residents are some of the hospitals biggest supporters.

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“I would like to think we have a greater sense of volunteerism because we have a better sense of community here in Maple Ridge,” says Lascelle. “If you live in a community with a community hospital, why wouldn’t you want to help and support it. You only stand to benefit.” The public’s support is critical, he notes, as Ridge Meadows Hospital needs help from everyone in the community if it is going to continue providing top-notch health care. “Some people look at health care as a God-given right,” he says. “We have some of the best health care in the world here in Canada, and some people take it for granted.” To ensure it stays world-class, everyone has to do their part. Lascelle, for one, is doing his.

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The evolution of a learner Story By Michael Hall

Grant Frend, principal at Garibaldi secondary, is all about friends, about building a community in and around the school, and caring about each other. “Kids can’t learn if they don’t feel safe.” His life experiences have helped shape that view, and he tries to help his students – whether exchanging high-fives in the hallways or talking to them about their baseball game or dance recital the night before – understand the same is true for them. Everybody has a story, five things – as he’s learned – that define them. He is no different. No. 1: Frend was born with a severe stutter. It caused him to be insecure as a child. He was teased sometimes. He took speech therapy to overcome it, and did, until his dad left. Then it returned. He continued with therapy and by 19, it was no longer much of an issue. But having to deal with it all those years, the help he received from people around him – like teachers who let him do his public speaking assignments after school, and friends who supported him – taught him empathy. “It taught me how to look out for people, whether it’s the kid with the disability or the girl who just lost her dad, everyday we need to look out for other people.” Frend is big on empathy. He’s also big on sports. No. 2: Sports. Frend grew up in North Delta, minus the five years he lived in Bellingham after his grandmother died. He played baseball until he was 12 or 13, when he really fell in love with basketball. “Charles Barkley was my guy.” He was into football, as well. Frend, admittedly, wasn’t the best athlete, the tallest or fastest or most coordinated. But he was competitive. “I hated to lose.” By Grade 12, he was the “13th man,” or, “Captain of the pine line,” the guy who played garbage minutes. But he loved to play. He loved being on the team. He had a role and he accepted it. “The human victory cigar,” is what he teammates called him. “I had fun.” During his senior year he also got involved in coaching youth basketball, a feeder program for the high school. “That was when I realized I would get involved in coaching.” And after high school, Frend did, coaching both senior girls and boys basketball in North Delta and Richmond, while working and going to school. At first, coaching was all about “me,” he said, about “winning.” But then he realized it’s not. It’s about getting to know each player, his or her strengths and weaknesses, about helping them improve. It’s about them and the team. Nos. 3, 4, 5 are his family. First is his wife, Lia, who he met through friends 15 years ago. She’s a voracious reader, as is he (and blogger and Tweeter). She is also a great listener, and very supportive of everything he does with the school. 10

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

Photo by Michael Hall

“I’m in awe of her commitment to being a great mom and a great wife.” Second is his daughter, Jaelyn. He always envisioned her playing sports, with him coaching. But she loves the arts, she loves to dance. So for two straight years Frend found himself in a group with eight other dads who volunteered to take part in a number at the dance school. For 11 or 12 weeks they practiced their moves, a superhero theme the first year, James Bond the next. “Dancing is something I’m not very comfortable with,” Frend said. “But I was showing support for her through that.” Third is his son Brady, who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Frend now coaches Special Olympics, while Brady plays on the Mighty Pirates, the Sunshine Foundation Dreams for Kids Charity softball team. “Brady has taught our family so much about perseverance and about maintaining a positive attitude no matter what.” That’s five things, but the last three could count as one. Another could be education. Frend was never a star student. Back in high school, he’d rather play basketball than study, and sometimes he did. He still loved school. He didn’t go straight to university, but rather spent time at Douglas and Kwantlen colleges before arriving at SFU. He knew he wanted to teach, and coach. “I enjoyed the leadership aspect of things.” After six or seven years of school, he graduated and ended up at Thomas Haney secondary. He was there for five years, then was part of the planning team for Samuel Robertson Technical secondary. He worked there the first year, then moved over to Garibaldi to become vice-principal because enrollment was up there. As much as he loved being in the classroom, he felt he could have more influence – affect more lives – as an administrator, and had applied for such a position with the district.

At Garibaldi, he cosponsors student government and has implemented such initiatives as High-five Fridays, where students are greeted at the doors once a month, slapping hands to make every student feel invited. “For me, the most important thing, if students don’t feel safe at school, nothing else matters,” Frend said. Of all the students at Garibaldi, about 30 per cent are involved in one of the school’s leadership programs. “Which I’m really proud of,” Frend said. He wants them all to understand that in a school of 800 students, many of them are going through the same things and feel the same way. He’s working on helping them understand how to know and who to ask for help, how to act in an appropriate way at school. “Culture has to come first.” And not just at school, but at home, at the hockey rink, for parents, teachers and coaches alike. Everyone has a role to play in creating a community. Frend lives in the community, close to the school, and his family is a big part of it. His children visit the school regularly, for assemblies and plays. Frend couldn’t do his job without his family’s support. “It’s a family deal,” he said. Sometimes he lies awake at night for three to four hours thinking off all the different things he’d like to do at the school. “When you are a principal, you are always a principal.” Even if that means taking small speaking roles in school productions of Legally Blonde and Hairspray. Twenty years ago, given his speech impediment, he never would have imagined himself doing that. Now, he looks forward to standing in front of a 1,000 people on the first day of school and giving his speech, “our message for this year.” He loves telling stories. Everyone has one. • Follow Mr. Frend @ gssprincipalsoffice.sd42.ca


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Flames burn bright for coach Fiset Story By Tim Fitzgerald

For teachers, summer is a time to wind down after another chapter of a frantic school year has been written. Whether it’s the smell of fresh cut hay, the sound of waves crashing along the beach, or the warm ocean air, summer is a time when little triggers evoke memories of your own childhood. But for Jamie Fiset, those memories are conjured up as he walks through the front doors of Planet Ice in Maple Ridge. As the head coach and general manager of the Ridge Meadows Flames of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, summer is simply the precursor to another chapter in his life in hockey – a life he wouldn’t trade for all the riches the world. “You come into the rink, you feel the adrenaline start to boil. You feel confident and you just feel at home. You know it’s where you belong and you’re quite at ease with the whole thing,” says Fiset, “I think that’s the one thing I’ve learned here over the last five years is that in order to do this job, you have to love the

grind. You have to love all the little mundane details that have to be done that know one else sees. If you find that you like those things still after all these years, it makes the job a lot easier.” As Fiset rustles through a binder, he goes over a detailed list of new prospects signed and local players on the fringe. Every name is slotted into a position Fiset hopes he can build a winner. With each new season, optimism abounds. Fiset is a teacher at Langley secondary, helping run the school’s hockey academy, as well as teaching social studies and history. It’s the lessons learned from last season that Fiset hopes builds the Flames into a contender for the 2012/13 season. Up against the Aldergrove Kodiaks in the first round of the playoffs, a team that finished 36 points ahead of the Flames, Ridge Meadows was given little chance to win the series. But a late season surge by the Flames saw them push the Kodiaks to six games, bowing out with a 2-1 loss. For Fiset, what transpired following the seasonending loss was a new event in his life in hockey. “Usually at the end of the season players are upset that the season’s over. For your 20-year-olds, it’s sinking in that that’s it, there’s no more. But this year was different. The feeling in the room was different. There was an anticipation for the start of next year and that was something I haven’t experienced before,” says Fiset. It’s exactly those experiences that drives Fiset as a coach. From growing up in the small rural community of Lumby, located on the fringes of the Okanagan Valley, to his current stint behind the bench in Maple Ridge, the 41-year-old reaches into his past to shape his future. This is his sixth year with the team and he says

he’s always trying to find a balance between his desire to win and his need to develop his players’ character. “I’ve never been one to believe that just because you are on the ice a lot means you are becoming a better player and the player who is sitting on the bench is becoming worse. I think the best players adapt to any situation, and if they’ve got to sit a couple of shifts to put things in perspective, they’ll do that gladly knowing it’s going Photo by Tim Fitzgerald to improve them,” notes Fiset. As for personal success, the Flames head coach says he’s less concerned with moving up in the hockey ranks as he is with improving his team year by year. He attributes much of his personal growth to having a strong safety net around him Along with his wife Krista, Fiset also helps when his two kids are at the rink, serving as an assistant coach. “We’ve been together since high school and every year I’ve been involved in hockey, and she gets that. A typical Saturday will start at one rink, then off to another before finishing up on the road with the Flames. My family has been very good at adapting and very supportive.” And it’s that kind of support that Fiset draws from to fuel his passion for the Flames. “I think the hockey community is a very special place. You protect each other and help each other out. It’s hard to describe to people who haven’t been immersed in the hockey culture. But it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s so much fun.”

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Story by Monisha Martins

Y R Y R

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In her office above Osprey Village, there’s a photograph of five women who were the founding force behind the Pitt Meadows Community Association. They are holding up a sign that reads “DOERS” – a word that epitomizes what the organization, and Hanna Vorlicek is all about.

– the waterfront Osprey Village – she became strata president. A theatre major, Vorlicek worked in event management as a production manager until she suddenly found herself out of work about a year ago. It was a pause in life that gave her time to look around. “As I started to move throughout he community, specifically here, there was a type of disconnect,” says Vorlicek. “People were talking about doing things but nobody was doing anything.” Vorlicek was puzzled – she could see so much potential, yet people, groups and minds were miles apart. She started exploring, talking to people, while trying to figure out how to bring everyone together. Soon she gathered a group of like-minded women and with a small injection of funding from Mosaic, the developer that built Osprey, the Pitt Meadows Community Association was born. “Everyone came in with their own expertise,” says Vorlicek. There was a small business owner, another with non-profit experience, and Vorlicek chipped in her event management skills. “Everybody has something to offer and that’s a really

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firm belief we have in the association. Everybody has something to offer and let’s draw from it.” In 11 months, the association is now very much a part of the community. It hosts Osprey Days, organized the city’s first St. Patrick’s Day party called the Shamrock Shake last year, and runs a variety of workshops. “It is taking somebody local that has an expertise, who is willing to share that for the betterment of the community,” she explains. “If you get involved and become a part of your community, you become healthier and the community will become healthier.” Vorlicek truly believes in “the village.” “And I don’t mean Osprey Village,” she says with a laugh. “I believe in the community and village and that it takes all of us.”

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“We are about bringing everybody together. So everybody can enjoy what we have. Learn from each other,” says the association’s executive director. Vorlicek, who grew up in north Burnaby, came to Pitt Meadows “by fluke.” She was living in a basement suite in her brother’s house in west Maple Ridge while pregnant with her son Jacob. “I was looking to buy a home and I started driving around. I wanted to be near family,” she says. Vorlicek’s house hunt brought her to Pitt Meadows, then still a district with no high-rises. “It reminded me of where I grew up,” she says. “The neighbourhoods, the community sense, the closeness that we had.” She liked how Pitt Meadows blended rural and urban, and that its agricultural roots were not hidden. She could still see farmers at work, drive past lush fields. As her son grew up, Vorlicek got more and more involved with the community. She started by managing his hockey team, then his soccer team. She volunteered as an auxiliary RCMP officer, community events and at his school. When she moved to the city’s newest neighbourhood

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Make a difference: The Fire Chief Story by Monisha Martins

There is a plaque in Don Jolley’s bedroom that reminds him daily of a promise he made to his younger brother. It asks: “Did you make a difference? “I promised my brother when he died that that’s what I would do,” says Jolley. You would think that just by being the fire chief for the City of Pitt Meadows, someone who’s in charge of more than 30 firefighters, Jolley was leaving his mark. The car accidents, the rescues, the fires he has put out, the lives he has saved have shaped him, but they’ve also kept him humble. An ego doesn’t work for a firefighter, says Jolley. He’s not a hero, and recoils when people mention the word. “It’s humility that’s important. You need to be proud and committed to do what has to be done. We are no different than anybody else and it’s important to remember that.” Jolley moved to B.C. with his family at age six and grew up in Burnaby. His father who was a physicist, his mother was a dancer. Family has always been important to him.

From his father, he learned discipline, thoughtfulness, cultivated a quiet intellectuality and a real awareness of the world. From his mom, an acclaimed Scottish highland dancer, he gained a desire to compete. Naturally, sports attracted Jolley, who played Photo by Monisha Martins everything, from baseball and hockey to soccer, in his younger years. In university, he signed up for the volunteer ski patrol and that’s where he met a volunteer who encouraged him to apply for a job as a part-time paramedic. “I loved it,” says Jolley, who spent 21 years working for the B.C. Ambulance Service. “It was very challenging. It was different everyday. There was very little down time. We saw everything in the world.” In 1990, he moved to Pitt Meadows and was convinced by a colleague to join the volunteer fire department. For a while, he juggled both jobs – working as a paramedic and firefighter until 2007. At one point, he was the only advanced life support paramedic in B.C. who also worked as a firefighter. Jolley was eventually hired as an assistant fire chief, advanced to a deputy position in Langley for 18 months and returned to Pitt Meadows in 2008 to lead the fire department.

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What drew him back to the city and the fire department was its volunteer model. “As a true volunteer, it’s all about the community, team work and camaraderie,” says Jolley. “The guys are here for the right reasons, in my opinion.” Jolley stresses he isn’t suggesting career firefighters work for the wrong reason, rather that volunteers add something unique to the force. He adds there’s a misconception that volunteer firefighters are not trained as well as those who are paid. In many cases, says Jolley, volunteers have more skills than career firefighters. “We don’t have many costs, so we can put them through that training. A big thing that volunteers bring is they are not one dimensional. They are much, much more than a firefighter. We have police officers, bus drivers, plumbers, electricians and we all learn from each other.” As a chief, Jolley reminds his crew to unwind, to relax and de-stress. His remedies are golf, travel and whizzing down the highway on his motorbike, a Honda CBR 929. It also helps that he works 90 seconds from home, in a community he loves. “I love living here. I can get on my bike and be in the middle of nowhere five minutes from my house.” Jolley always has a few words of advice for a young man or woman who shows interest in a career as a firefighter. “I don’t sugar coat it. I tell them it’s not for everybody,” he says. Most of all, he reminds them that they are not heroes. It’s the small things like a smile that matter and that promise he made to his brother. “The thing that I’ve tried to instill in them is that, at the end of the day, did you make a difference?,” says Jolley. “It’s easy to say and very difficult to do.”

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Helping those who can’t speak for themselves Story By Phil Melnychuk

Joan Mead doesn’t mind getting up early Tuesdays and Fridays to help those who can’t speak for themselves. Spending 10 hours a week cleaning out cat cages, restocking their food and water dishes and helping out staff at the new Maple Ridge Community Animal

Centre is more fun than anything for Mead, one of a hundred volunteers who help keep the place going. Mead, 67, has been a volunteer with

the shelter since March 2010. After retiring a month earlier, it didn’t take long to figure out that she’d be better off with some constructive activity. So she contacted the SPCA and began helping the stray, unwanted cats that regularly show up at the shelter. “I love doing it. I love animals,” she said. She has to drive from the west side of Maple Ridge to the east side, where the new shelter is located on Jackson Road. But it’s worth the time and the gas money because getting to the shelter is the best part of her day. “It starts off really good. I get my buckets full of water, my cleaning cloths and wipe down their cages, give them fresh water, talk to the animals, pet them. If some are feeling a little fearful, I pay a little more attention to them. It’s a good day.” She also helps with clean up around the shelter and is never quick to leave. “I just feel good when I’m there,” she says. “Because the staff are all great.” Mead also takes her volunteer work home by fostering pregnant cats and taking care of their kittens. Sometimes that means having feral or wild cats in her home, which by the time they’re ready to leave, have gone from hissing and scratching to purring and cuddling. If they’re compatible, she’ll also let them play with her own adopted cat,

Bella, who has the run of the house. For people considering adopting cats, Mead has one main piece of advice, especially when considering the recent spate of local cat deaths. “I think everybody should keep their cats inside. I’ve never had a cat that went outside. There’s no problem, they love it.” There’s no problem keeping a cat inside, she explains, providing there’s a scratching post, some high places to perch and look down on the world from above, as well as some toys. Some people may not like cleaning out litter boxes, but you can keep the boxes in the garage, basement or bathroom, she points out. The SPCA provides all the necessities for cat caring, but the cost of gasoline she spends on her vet runs, taking cats to veterinarian for spaying, neutering or tattooing, comes out of her own pocket. At least keep your cats in at night, she adds. “Don’t let them roam. They do adjust to indoors, they love it.” Coming home, it’s nice to see Bella. “They give you unconditional love, they’re just fantastic.” Mead says she’ll volunteer as long as she can, adding she expects to be able to foster almost indefinitely. “You never know if you ever stop in at the shelter, you might see me down there when I’m 90 or something.”

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Being Bear Aware: A woman with a mission Story by Colleen Flanagan

Rosie Wijenberg is on a mission to curtail human bear conflict in Maple Ridge, armed simply with information leaflets, door hangers, garbage stickers and by going doorto-door talking to people. Wijenberg is the community coordinator of the new Bear Aware program in Maple Ridge, and she is determined to educate people about what attracts bears and how to ultimately reduce those attractants. You could say her passion for bears first started as a child growing up on a farm along 240th Street, where she would spend hours in her mother’s garden pulling out invasive species, like morning glories and Japanese knotweed. She liked things to make sense. She liked order. She was also curious about when a pest becomes a pest. “A pest is not a pest until we say so, on one level. But a pest is not necessarily a pest until we create the environment,” said Wijenberg. This was the catalyst for her masters degree at SFU,

where she studied pest management, focussing on vertebrate pests. “People don’t think of bears as pests. But this is a scenario that bears are being treated like a pest,” said Wijenberg. “We are creating an environment that’s making them have this definition and we also euthanize them, we eradicate them. There are pest management plans in place. I am part of the pest management plan for vertebrates.” Bear Aware started during the 1980s in Revelstoke. “They had a problem at their garbage dump. Bears were just sitting there,” explained Wijenberg. Then what started with the installation of an electric fence became an educational program for the residents of the city. This is the first year for Bear Aware in Maple Ridge. Initiated by Rodney Stott, head of the District of Maple Ridge environmental planning, it was continued by Alison Thompson, a Bear Aware community educator with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot, on a volunteer basis. Then the district sponsored the program and hired Wijenberg on a six-month seasonal contract. This is her first month on the job. She already has 20 volunteers working for her and will be working closely with local conservation officers to educate people on what bear attractants are and how to reduce them. “This is what I want people to do. I want people to store their garbage until the day of pickup. I want them to pick their fruit before it falls and consider replacing unused trees with ornamentals or use electric fencing,” said Wijenberg. “Getting people to put their garbage out in the morning is my biggest priority right now,” she said. “I

would also like to start an initiatives to help people get easier access to bear-proof garbage cans.” When Wijenberg targets a neighbourhood she will start by going door-to-door handing out information and talking with people. Then she will go out the night before garbage day putting tags or stickers on garbage left out to inform people that this is an attractant for bears and should be left out only in the morning. Two weeks later she will be doing a garbage audit to see who is still leaving their garbage out the night before. These people will receive warning letters informing them that there will be a potential fine of $250 from the Conservation Officer Service. Then she passes her information on to the conservation officers, who will follow up on the information and fine, if need be. “This is a brand new power and the conservation officers are enthusiastic about it, especially in areas where they have already relocated or euthanized a bear,” said Wijenberg. Right now her highest priority is the Albion area, although Silver Valley and Rockridge are also areas that concern her. Wijenberg says in order to be proactive, all bear sightings should be reported. “Conservation officers are not just going to show up and shoot the bear,” she said of the often misunderstood notion. “They will do lots of things first. They will get me in there. When I get in their I can do the education and help prevent that bear from being euthanized.” Bear Aware is much more than a safety concern for Wijenberg. It is also a moral issue. When what we are doing attracts bears and instead of getting rid of the attractants, we simply remove the bears, it doesn’t make sense, she says.

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“It doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make environmental sense, it doesn’t make safety sense, and it doesn’t make, for me, moral sense.” Bears will continue to return to the community. Wijenberg was shocked when, a few years ago, a previous neighbour of hers in the Whonnock area, killed a bear that kept returning to his property. “It was his fault the bear was coming around. He could have solved his problem by putting up one or three strings of electric fencing around his yard. That really made me angry. There’s just no reason for it.”

They didn’t manage their livestock properly. They scattered the chicken feed everywhere and left the animals out at night. And although neighbours tried to talk to them, they didn’t listen, and when the bear came poking around, they shot it themselves, which is illegal. Wijenberg knew then that she wanted to help humans and bears coexist together. She never wants that to see that happen again. • To report a bear sighting call 1-877-952-7277 or for more information visit bearaware.bc.ca.

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• wood fireplaces • wood stoves • wood inserts • gas fireplaces • gas stoves • gas inserts • pellet stoves • chimneys & ventings • accessories • barbecues

What our clients are saying about our products and services... “Dorothy and I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all that you and your staff have extended to us. We love our new fireplace inserts from both a comfort and appearance perspective. We look forward to many relaxing and toasty evenings. Lisa and your sales staff are knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Lisa’s insight and help on the rebate programs and claim filings were immensely helpful. Your chimney cleaning and airtight stove removal crew are quick, clean and thorough. The delivery guys are prompt, careful and most helpful. The installation contractor was certainly an added bonus.

“Just wanted to say that our new fireplace is absolutely stunning. It is really, really beautiful. The gas fitter did a fabulous job. We are so, so pleased. Big, big thank you to all! So warm, so cozy. It’s just what we wanted! Thank you again.” Trish & John “We finally did the turkey on the BBQ as you told us. It was moist and delicious! Thanks for the info. We love our BBQ.” Anne & Henk

In all, your staff combined to make this a most positive experience. Once again, thank you.”

Wood Stove

Dorothy & Rick

EXCHANGE PROGRAM We are a participating retailer in the Metro Vancouver Wood Stove Exchange Program. Metro Vancouver residents are eligible to receive a rebate for trading in their old uncertified wood burning appliance for a new low emission appliance. Purchase an EnerChoice fireplace and you qualify for a $300 mail-in rebate from Fortis BC.

Your fireplace specialist... www.warmhearth.ca 18

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

Warm He ar a r th th

11834 226th St Maple Ridge 604-467-2200

winner of the best fireplace store...10 years in a row Our Community. Our People. July 2012

19


keeping OUR

PEOPLE OUR COMMUNITYwarm

• wood fireplaces • wood stoves • wood inserts • gas fireplaces • gas stoves • gas inserts • pellet stoves • chimneys & ventings • accessories • barbecues

What our clients are saying about our products and services... “Dorothy and I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for all that you and your staff have extended to us. We love our new fireplace inserts from both a comfort and appearance perspective. We look forward to many relaxing and toasty evenings. Lisa and your sales staff are knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Lisa’s insight and help on the rebate programs and claim filings were immensely helpful. Your chimney cleaning and airtight stove removal crew are quick, clean and thorough. The delivery guys are prompt, careful and most helpful. The installation contractor was certainly an added bonus.

“Just wanted to say that our new fireplace is absolutely stunning. It is really, really beautiful. The gas fitter did a fabulous job. We are so, so pleased. Big, big thank you to all! So warm, so cozy. It’s just what we wanted! Thank you again.” Trish & John “We finally did the turkey on the BBQ as you told us. It was moist and delicious! Thanks for the info. We love our BBQ.” Anne & Henk

In all, your staff combined to make this a most positive experience. Once again, thank you.”

Wood Stove

Dorothy & Rick

EXCHANGE PROGRAM We are a participating retailer in the Metro Vancouver Wood Stove Exchange Program. Metro Vancouver residents are eligible to receive a rebate for trading in their old uncertified wood burning appliance for a new low emission appliance. Purchase an EnerChoice fireplace and you qualify for a $300 mail-in rebate from Fortis BC.

Your fireplace specialist... www.warmhearth.ca 18

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

Warm He ar a r th th

11834 226th St Maple Ridge 604-467-2200

winner of the best fireplace store...10 years in a row Our Community. Our People. July 2012

19


from head to tail we are commited to our

COMMUNITY Photo by Colleen Flanagan

Dancing is the cure Story by Monisha Martins

Ryan Morrissette dances every day. For him, popping, locking, back flips and head-spins are routine.

We are committed...

Thank you to everyone in our community for helping us get off to a great start! We will continue our commitment to provide your pet with the “Head To Tail” physical exam they deserve and pledge to provide you with the most up to date medical information on your pets health. We would like to welcome any new pets & their parents to come and meet with us.

604-466-7852 #101-22971 Dewdney Trunk Road Located in between Tim Hortons and the Lordco building

Monday, Tuesday , Thursday, Friday 8 am - 6 pm Wednesday 8 am - 8 pm • Saturday 9 am - 5 pm 20

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

Unlike most other dancers, Morrissette’s daily drill is sandwiched between two doses of medication – nebulizers and more than 100 pills – to help his cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in his lungs and digestive tract. “I naturally push myself harder because of the cystic fibrosis,” says Morrissette, 18. “But I don’t feel like I run out of breath faster than anyone else in the dance group.” Morrissette’s mother Teresa, who owns Maple Ridge dance school Dance FX, enrolled him in dance lessons after he was diagnosed at age two. Morrissette took to dance immediately, trying his feet at everything from ballet to jazz to tap. Hip hop hooked him at age 10, and since he’s committed to mastering his craft, dancing solo under the name B-Boy Electrick and with the group Freshh, who he met at age 13. Coached by Cezar Tantoco – an inspiration and mentor for Morrissette – Freshh has become one of the best dance groups in the country. The group’s accolades include dancing at the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics, which involved several smaller performances throughout the two weeks. Freshh has also won the Canadian National Hip Hop Championship, the World of Dance Grand Championship and most recently made it to the finals on the TV show Canada’s Got Talent. “It’s the best feeling I’ve had in my life,” Morrissette says as he recalls the excitement and pressure of being on television. The national exposure is keeping Freshh busy. These days, the group

performs at least twice a week and is currently preparing for the World of Dance championships. Tall, tattooed, lean and muscular, Morrissette is now an inspiration to other children battling cystic fibrosis. But as a young child, this was far from the case. For the first six years of his life, Morrissette was constantly in and out of the hospital, with arms that could barely lift himself. At the ages of three, five, then seven, he suffered violent bouts of pneumonia. Doctors doubted his survival after his organs began shutting down. Now, though, it’s impossible to tell that Morrissette has an ailment, let alone one that clogs his lungs and affects his breathing. On stage, Morrissette glides. Many of his dance mates don’t know he has cystic fibrosis. “It usually comes up when they comment on how light I am,” says Morrissette. When presented with that question, Morrissette jokes he’s sprightly because of the medication he takes. That’s how he starts talking about cystic fibrosis. To him, it isn’t a burden, It doesn’t define him. Morrissette is now doing outreach with Cystic Fibrosis Canada and this year spoke at the organization’s annual gala. “The whole reason I started dance was to show kids with CF that they can be anything they want to be if they go for it,” he says. To now be a poster boy for someone who has overcome the odds, an inspiration, he adds: “That’s the greatest.”


Lo STI ve LL ly stu AVA 2 b dio ILA dr , on BL m su e bd E ite s rm &

Opening Late Summer 2012

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

21


The long arm of the (by)law department By Phil Melnychuk

Telling people to move their cars and trucks, clean up their yards, or where and what they can build, can rub people the wrong way. Unless you’ve figured out a way of helping people solve their problems, while following the law, so everyone’s happy. Liz Holitzki has figured it out. After several years in the field, currently as bylaws director for the District of Maple Ridge, Holitzki has had lots of practice explaining the rules and sparing the hurt feelings. It’s an approach she tries to convey to her staff of 30, who will work with anyone and try any solution to ensure a building is built correctly or a yard is kept up. “They do their best to just help them get to where they want to go. But if they dig in their heels, there’s not much we can do. “Tickets aren’t issued, except as a last resort. We’re

Photo by Phil Melnychuk

not ticket-happy here,” she says from her secondstorey office in a quiet corner of municipal hall. If Maple Ridge’s bylaws department didn’t exist, there would be no limits on parking in the downtown. That would seem to be fine to many people, but the shop owners who count on having convenient parking

to attract customers would feel the loss. Hence the one- or two-hour limits on parking in the downtown so that spots continually open up and clients can get to the shops. Without bylaws, you could build a house right up to the sidewalk, and carve it up inside to accommodate

Looking for something completely different?

Cythera Unique Boutique RIDGE ME #1 RATEDADOWS S HOP A Full Service sh op

If you enjoy antiquing, decorating, browsing in a serene environment or perhaps donating that collectible that you were hoping you could give to a great cause... then treat yourself to a visit to our boutique! You won’t be disappointed. 22362 Lougheed Highway Hours: Tues–Sat 10am–5pm · Closed Sun–Mon Personal appointments available to view your treasured donation. Call today 604-467-8118 Operated by Cythera Transition House Society, supporting women and children who have experienced violence and/or abuse 22

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

specializing in AirCare, Brak es, Air Conditioning , Tune Ups, Susp ensions, Tires, Dr ivability Issue s & General Main tenance. Certi fied inspect ion Facility. FREE Timin g Belt, Call fo r details. Check ou t cust omer testimonial s at w w w.haney automotive. com Then drop in to say hello and we will earn yo ur TRUST

Q & A with Brandon

Q: Brandon what is your secret being voted the best Auto Shop in Ridge Meadows? A: I think the biggest factor is our honesty, customers trust us. We also have a great customer care program with courtesy calls, thank you and reminder cards. Our technicians are very talented; they fi x the right thing the 1st time. Q: Are there any other contributing factors? A: Because of my answer to the fi rst question overall, our customers save money and they seem to like the fact that we are a family run business and they can see that we have a lot of fun taking care of their vehicles.

2011 READER’S CHOICE WINNER

Q: Do you offer any special services? A: We are a full service shop that takes total care of your vehicle including tires: What we don’t do in house e.g. Alignments we sub contract, translated “We are a one stop hassle free, car care facility”

22711 Selkirk Ave, Maple Ridge 604-467-0138 THE BROWN BUILDING NEXT TO SAVE-ON-FOODS, AT VALLEY FAIR MALL


eight or nine single rooms, with no direct access and a fire in the waiting. Without bylaws, you could put a cement plant in a suburb, run a brothel next to a church or attach a cardboard and canvas tent to the front of your house for your relatives. Holitzki originally planned to go to law school, but instead started her career in Surrey’s bylaw department, then moved to West Vancouver. While Holitzki’s managing a major department, she knows what her staff go through daily on the street. Rarely a day goes by when parking officers aren’t yelled at, she notes. Or told to get a real job. Or asked why they didn’t finish high school. It seems no matter what bylaws does, it risks public wrath. That was evident two years ago when someone complained about recreational vehicle storage on someone’s property. The bylaws department did what it was supposed to: investigate. That prompted someone else to make a rash of complaints about RV parking, numbering about 100, which in turn ignited RV owners to near revolt. The issue got to council and the politicians drafted a new, more-accommodating RV bylaw and added another bylaw limiting the number of complaints to three from anyone person in a year. While bylaws contacted owners,

“We never issued one ticket, not one,” Holitzki pointed out. Usually, though, it’s not RVs that wrankle most, but another form of accommodation, the secondary suites that people try to put into their houses. “It’s got to be secondary suites,” she says of the No. 1 issue for Maple Ridge residents. People either hate them or love them, depending on whether their house has one. To install a legal secondary suite costs at least $10,000 to ensure building and electrical code requirements are met. Another issue is landlords. Such as with Northumberland Court, otherwise known as the ghetto, which was only demolished in the last year after years of frustration. There are many such buildings, she says. “You have to take them head on and deal with them.” Holitzki likes to be proactive when it comes to bylaw business. Her department is currently revising the sign bylaw that will determine what posters and banners businesses put out. Meanwhile, the omnibus zoning bylaw is being rewritten and the district is getting ready for the adjudication process, which spares complainants going to court, to dispute fines. “When you really like what you do, it’s not a burden.”

Helping our community turn houses into HOMES for 12 years

Bare Interiors Inc. 22602 Lougheed Hwy., Maple Ridge

604-467-3241

mapleridgebenjaminmoore.com

Tammy Owner

Store Hours: Monday - Friday 7 am - 6 pm Saturday 9 am - 5 pm Sunday and Most Holidays 10 am - 5 pm

McDONALD’S FLOORING LTD. SERVING THE LOWER FRASER VALLEY SINCE 1972

CUSTOM HOME and HOME IMPROVEMENT SPECIALISTS CARPET • LINO • CERAMICS • HARDWOOD • LAMINATE • CORK IN-STOCK CARPET HELD AT NO CHARGE • COMMUNITY SERVICE IS OUR PRIORITY

Tuesday thru Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ~ Evenings by appointment

22324 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge (Dewdney and 223rd) Ph. 467-9222

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Our Community. Our People. July 2012

23


Horse hero Story by Colleen Flanagan

Julie Macmillan is crazy about horses. Born and raised in West Vancouver, she is the youngest of four siblings and the only one to become a self-professed cowgirl.

Photo by Colleen Flanagan

She now runs J&M Acres Horse Rescue in Maple Ridge. She founded it to save horses either on their way to slaughter or from owners who are no longer able to care for them. To date, she has rescued and found homes for just more than 700 horses. When Macmillan was 13 years old, her parents gave in to her obsession and bought her her first pony, Cherub, a pinto mustang. She spent her weekends and summer holidays during high school working at a stable in Birch Bay called GA Ranch. She also started competing with Cherub in westernstyle horse shows. Soon she acquired her next horse, a chestnut thoroughbred named Copper, and then Bucca, a grey Arab. Sixteen years ago, Macmillan made the move to Maple Ridge to buy her dream home. “At the time it was $200,000 for a house on two acres or a crappy one bedroom apartment in West Van, and the dream thing had always been the farm,” said Macmillan. “It was my 30 birthday present to myself.”

Bringing People Together for a Better

PITT MEADOWS Osprey Days @ Osprey Village Sunday August 12 12 pm-4 pm

4th Annual Hockey Day @ Osprey Village Wednesday August 29 4 pm - 7 pm

Featuring live music by "Monkey Fist" BBQ by Stomping Grounds Bouncy Castles Kids music by Lisa Rae Dilly the Clown

All ages and skills Come play a game of street hockey to help kids play hockey who could not otherwise afford to play. Bring a stick and one to share.

But in 1996, Macmillan went to Fraser Valley Auction in Langley to look at saddles. And in an instant, her dream farm suddenly became the future destination of a field of hope for horses on their last legs. “There was a horse there who was in such rough shape that people were crowded around his stall crying,” said Macmillan. In fact, it was a horse that Macmillan recognized. It has been bought by a man a month before, when it was healthy. “He must not have fed him for the whole month. It was horrible,” she said. So, Macmillan asked, “Why don’t we all pitch in and I’ll see if I can save him?” And she did. The six bystanders pitched in the $200 needed to purchase the horse and Macmillan brought the horse back to her ranch, where he spent a couple of months helping it put on weight. “He was still thin when he left, but we got him up to where we knew he wasn’t going to die and could travel.” And, even though he was ‘old as the hills’, Macmillan found him a home with a family in Cloverdale where he lived out his last years. “We called him Lucky.” She ended up taking in seven more horses that year. Now she takes in as many as 120 year. Macmillan usually keeps about a dozen horses at a time on site and attributes their successful adoptions to her volunteer Amy Lizee, who networks so well that sometimes a horse is only on site for four hours. Macmillan also has an additional 10 acres that she has access to along 232nd Street, allowing her to save even more horses. She will take in any breed, as long as it is adoptable, or salvageable. It takes $100 a month per horse to take

Serving the Community Since 1930

More info ospreyvillage.com If you would like to be a vendor at either event please contact hanna@pmcaonline.com for details

more info www.PMCAonline.com 24

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

OTTER CO-OP AT PITT MEADOWS 12343 Harris Road, Pitt Meadows

STORE HOURS:

604-465-5651 • 604-465-8755

Mon-Fri ..... 9:00am-5:30pm Sat.............. 9:00am-5:00pm Sun............10:00am-4:00pm

www.ottercoop.com

LOUGHEED HWY.

N OTTER CO-OP AT PITT MEADOWS

HARRIS RD.

Osprey Village is located at 10958 Barnston View Road


care of the basic feed and care of the animals. In addition, the horse rescue needs money for the veterinarian care, that can be extensive given the condition of the horses she takes in. “We used to take everything,” said Macmillan. “But, if I have a bunch of crippled, unadoptable horses, I can end up with one horse in the same slot for three years. Or, I can save 30 horses in that same slot.” People just want to dump horses that are old or in a lot of pain. “Honestly, I tell them, my mascara isn’t waterproof either. I am traumatized when we have to kill a horse here. So, sometimes people have to do their own stuff.” Macmillan doesn’t have to go far to find horses in need of rescuing. She finds many of them at local cattle auctions, where they are purchased by the pound. The auction owners, she says, are fantastic for them. “Anytime a horse comes through that is salvageable, they pick up the phone. We wouldn’t save a quarter as many as we do without the help of them.” But after 16 years Macmillan is starting to tire out. “It’s just emotional and ugly and you see the bad side of people and it’s really, really, really, really hard,” she said. Still, there are plenty of rewarding moments for Macmillan, as well.

One year, Macmillan received a phone call from a woman named Erin who had to undergo a double organ transplant and sold her horse, Splash, to a friend who was never supposed to sell it. Instead, her horse was sold over and over again and Erin spent nine years trying to find him. Macmillan acquired Splash after the owner of an auction contacted her. Two horses had been dumped at the auction, and one was Splash, an older, skinny paint gelding. There was not a dry eye in the house when Splash and Erin were reunited. At another auction, Macmillan bought a mare and her few-month-old baby who were on their way to the slaughter house. The baby was so crippled that it couldn’t even hold itself up. Macmillan planned to save the mom and humanely euthanize the baby. “Well, you go in with a baby and you’re not euthanizing it,” said Macmillan. Instead, Macmillan and her volunteers raised $12,500 to rehabilitate the pony, who is now eight and lives down the street from J&M Acres. “She is 100 per cent sound and healthy. They jump her and everything. We called her Hope.” Anyone wishing to donate or adopt a horse can visit the website at jmacresrescue.com.

7

Supporting the Communities We Serve

INSURANCE SPECIALISTS Auto • Life • Farm • Home • Business • Travel

Johnston Meier

Insurance Agencies Group

3 convenient locations for all your insurance needs 22367 Dewdney Trk Rd, Maple Ridge 604-467-4184

Bedankt, Thank

19174 Lougheed Hwy, Pitt Meadows 604-465-5507

11924 207 Street Maple Ridge 604-467-5111

You

to our customers for a warm welcom e to the commu nity Hungry? For breakfast or lunch. ch. Richard Dys, co-owner of the De Dutch Pannekoek House; his father being the founder, is proud to be a part of Maple Ridge and introduce everyone to De Dutch, after all Pannekoeks aren’t your average pancake.

omelette-style scrambles with everything from salmon and eggs to french toast, multiple varieties of eggs Benedict, hashbrowns, bratwurst and turkey bacon and vegetable dishes. We have a lunch menu as well.

“Our unique thing is pannekoeks,” Dys said. It is my Oma’s recipe and they are about 12 inches, light and thin, like a crepe.”

Dys said his staff is focused on making sure each customer has the best possible experience.

“We have a variety of sweet or savoury flavours,” Dys said. “We’ve got everything from strawberries and whipped cream to bacon, mushroom, cheese, onions and green peppers to cheddar, apple and salmon with Hollandaise sauce.”

“It is all about the customers,” he said. “We try to make it an experience they’ve never had before.” Come in and try it for yourself today!

It’s not just pannekoeks on the menu, though. There’s something for everyone, including

De Dutch Maple Ridge #600-20395 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge BC [ 604-459-1162 (Westgate Mall) Our Community. Our People. July 2012

25


Teaching life lessons through music Story by Colleen Flanagan

Dan Wardrope learned to read notes before he learned to read words. The professional piano prodigy sailed through his musical training, completing his certification as an Associate of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto and his licentiate degree from Trinity College in London, England, both in piano instruction, before the age of 20. Wardrope was born in Vancouver and moved to Maple Ridge with his family before he turned five. He attended Mount Crescent elementary and received his high school diploma from Maple Ridge secondary. He was composing music by age 10. Now, Wardrope is an accomplished composer and

We love our Community’s

Photo by Colleen Flanagan

advanced piano instructor, examiner and adjudicator, that sees many of his students continue on to professional teaching and performing careers.

PETS

Wardrope teaches piano from his studio in Maple Ridge, but typically spends two to three weeks a year traveling throughout North America as an

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Our Community. Our People. July 2012

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examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program. He spends another two to three weeks adjudicating festivals. Additionally, he composes music, which led to the commercial release in 1997 of an album called the Road That Leads Us, which continues to get air play in Canada and the U.S. “I really enjoy that creative process of figuring it out, of hearing the melody and then creating harmony and creating structure and seeing it evolve into something,” said Wardrope. Wardrope is best known for his annual charity concerts at Swan-e-Set Bay Resort Country Club in Pitt Meadows, put on by his advanced level students. Going into its 15th year, the concert has raised more than $20,000 for charities, including the Friends In Need Food Bank, the B.C. Cancer Foundation and World Vision. “It started because I started working with advanced level students and realized that it would be good for them to have a venue to perform at, you know, a bit of a bigger stage than sort of a yearend recital,” said Wardrope. “There’s a lot of young people at that event and an excitement for classical music and that’s unique,” he said. “There’s a spark. There’s an enthusiasm for classical music and I think that‘s

wonderful because it’s cultivated a high level of performing and excellence amongst my students.” It sells out every year. This year, Wardrope has 20 students at the Grade 10 and ARCT level. Variety, he stresses, is essential to their success. “One of the things that I enjoy is variety. So I enjoy teaching Bach. I enjoy teaching Rachmaninoff, Chopin,” he said. “I mean, they’re the ones who are practising between six and seven hundred hours a year, typically. And so to me, I’m not picking their pieces. To me that has to be about them. They are the ones that are working it.” Not all of his students go on to professional careers. But it is the life skills that they take away from the classical arts that motivates Wardrope. The development of creativity, problem solving skills, the ability to communicate and discipline. “I always tell my students, if we can learn these other skills along the way, what great life skills to learn,” said Wardrope. “This is obviously about music and developing skills and abilities in music. But if we can develop these things along the way, I consider it mission accomplished as well.”

Volunteers Make it Happen – Donors Make it Possible

Cythera Thrift Store

Net proceeds from our Thrift Store support women and children from our communities who have experienced violence and/or abuse.

22255 Dewdney Trunk Rd, Maple Ridge Donations welcome 7 days a week Not sure what we accept? – Call 604-467-4671.

Root’s Natural has been serving Maple Ridge and surrounding areas since 1971. We are dedicated to providing you with the finest quality organic, natural and gourmet products. We specialize in certified organic whole foods and healthy alternatives to conventional supermarket items. We also carry a wide variety of wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, raw food, low-sodium and sugar-free products. Our well-educated and knowledgeable staff look forward to serving you soon. Jeff, owner of Root’s Natural has been in the health food industry for over 20 years, and can answer just about any question you may have. Tammy has been owner of Root’s Natural for 18 years and can help you with any questions. Anything from how to cook for special events, to proper use of supplements, and organic fair trade farming. Root’s Natural is owned and operated by Jeff & Tammy Miller.

22254 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge · 604-467-1822 · Check out our coupons online at rootsnatural.ca · OPEN SUNDAYS Our Community. Our People. July 2012

27


The man behind the badge Story By Michael Hall

RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh leans back in his office chair and rests his hands behind his head, relaxed and ready to reveal a bit about the man behind the badge, the one in charge of keeping the community safe. It is no easy task, as recent events in Maple Ridge attest, but it’s one his upbringing in a large family in small town Newfoundland prepared him for well. Walsh was one of eight children, five of them boys, and the third oldest. His father worked at a government liquor store. His mother was a nurse. They were not well off, Walsh said. With both parents working, everyone had to chip in, help with chores. “It was military like,” he said. “You had to be organized.” The children often had to cook dinner, which most often meant heating up “freezer food.” And with so many competing voices in the house, they didn’t always all get along, Walsh said. He found solace in sports – hockey, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, tennis, martial arts. He also took part in air cadets as a teen. Mostly he loved competition, camaraderie, team work, and being outdoors. He was talented enough to play junior hockey for the Mount Pearl Blades Hockey Club, as a defenseman. At school, he excelled at math, calculus in particular. Since there was no Grade 12 in Newfoundland at that time, and no kindergarten either, Walsh graduated high school at age 16, and applied to university. He’d already had a job for three years by then, making banana splits and Peanut Buster Parfaits at the local Dairy Queen. Now he was going to Memorial University in St. John’s. He thought he’d be a high school math teacher, or instruct gym, or special education. In the summers, he coached baseball for the area parks department, as well as tennis and water skiing. He’d also coached minor hockey and refereed soccer. He had worked for Sears, in the sporting goods department, installing bindings during ski season. Still looking for more excitement, Walsh thought he’d apply to the RCMP. Just to see, explore his options. “I thought it would be a neat thing to do.” While studying for exams during his fourth year at university, he got a phone call. “Can you be at Depot in two weeks?” He was 20 years old and faced with making a decision that would alter the rest of his life, determine his career path. “You could call it the TSN Turning Point in my life.” Two weeks later, he was in Regina. The six-month training program was challenging, but not too difficult if you applied yourself, Walsh said. While there, he volunteered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. He was first assigned to the detachment in Pemberton. He remembers the long drive there in his old four28

Our Community. Our People. July 2012

door Chevy Impala, everything he owned stuffed in the trunk. It was October 1981, and a swollen M Creek washed out a bridge on what was then the Squamish Highway. Four vehicles drove off the end of it, and several people died. Walsh had to stay at a hotel in North Vancouver for a few days, delaying his arrival at his new job. During his first two weeks on the job, it rained the whole time. “My first welcome to the West Coast.” In his first few months, he was shot at twice. Both times were on the Mount Currie Reserve, disputes involving alcohol. He was not hit. There were supposed to be five officers employed in Pemberton. But one contracted Hepatitis, another threw his back out. So Walsh had to work straight night shifts for several weeks. When he was off-duty, he was on call, listening to a portable police radio in case backup was needed. When he had free time, he enjoyed the pristine Pemberton wilderness – hiking, biking, canoeing. He also refereed soccer on the Mount Currie Reserve.

Submitted photo

After Pemberton, Walsh worked 10 years in Kelowna, where he again volunteered with Big Brothers. He did a 13-year stint in Maple Ridge – volunteering for several of them at the RCMP Youth Summer Hockey School – and was part of the first Lower Mainland RCMP Emergency Response Team. He was a sergeant ERT team leader for a year and a half. Walsh later moved on to Surrey, where was commissioned as an inspector, and was a duty officer in his first management role. After a year there, he transferred to the Lower Mainland district office, where he was asked to launch the new Regional Duty Officer Program, and spent a year as a district RCMP regional duty officer After Ridge Meadows Insp. Jim Wakely passed away from cancer, Walsh got another phone call, asking him to express an interest in taking over that position. He returned to the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment in March 2009 as officer in charge. The call volume in Maple Ridge these days is steady, he said.

In his three years here, property crime has dropped, but calls for disturbances keep officers busy. The detachment maintains partnerships with Fraser Health and the B.C. Ambulance service, trying to deal with the social problems that tie up officers at the local hospital, waiting for patients they brought in to be seen so they can get back on the road. Last year, police responded to more than 400 people for mental health issues, some of them hundreds of times. “That’s a big part of the job today,” Walsh said. The Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment currently has 112 regular members. Last year they had 27,594 files. “The reality of policing – 10 per cent of what we do is enforcement; 90 per cent is calls for service.” Homelessness remains a problem, but Walsh said is not a real threat to public safety. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows remain safe places to live. “Don’t confuse perception of crime with actual crime.” Kids today, adds the father of a 10-year-old girl, are no different than they were 30 years ago. Although, he worries about them and electronic information sharing, in particular, “sexting.” And, “Nothing is not available to them on the internet.” Organized crime is also a local concern, but there are regional teams that deal with that now. Walsh has served 31 years now with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Besides being shot at during his first few weeks on the job, he was at Gustafson Lake standoff for several weeks in 1995. He also worked at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. There are many highs and lows over the course of his career, but one stands out above them all. He has never fired his gun while on duty, not even once, even though he was essentially a gun fighter with ERT for 25 years. He’s proud of that, the ability to resolve almost any conflict without bloodshed, although he’s seen death. He was present when police took down wanted shooting suspect Angus Mitchell in Maple Ridge in May. Mitchell opened fire first. But that was an isolated incident. Overall, Walsh is happy to live and work in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. “There is tremendous support from both mayors and councils. Our community members are awesome and we have many volunteers, from our RCMP Auxiliary Police Program, Citizens on Patrol, Speed Watch, Bike Patrol.” These days, Walsh plays less hockey than he used to, and spends more time at the gym or jogging with his three German shepherds – King, Queen and Thor. At Christmas, for the past 25 years, he sings in a group that tours seniors’ homes, performing carols. The man behind the badge, the one in charge of keeping the community safe, is many things, and passionate about his job is one of them. “I’ve never considered policing really work, he said, “a passion and a lifestyle would be more accurate.” He also has a passion for community. Through all his involvement in sports and volunteer activities, there were always coaches, referees and parents who gave of their own time, who taught him leadership, mentoring him and giving him guidance. “So I have benefitted from and know the importance of community and being a volunteer, which is why I enjoy our community’s strong spirit of giving back.” He believes his story is a common one and reflects the values of the majority of the RCMP: compassion, accountability, respect, honesty, integrity and professionalism.


White has history on her side

Story By Tim Fitzgerald

History may be written by the winners, but its preservation will be lost in Maple Ridge without the support of the community. Allison White, curator of the Maple Ridge Museum, is determined to fight to preserve the community’s rich legacy. Photo by Tim Fitzgerald

As she walks through the main floor of the former Haney House that now serves as the main holding ground for the district’s collection of historical treasures, White knows she’s facing a daunting challenge. In a tough economic climate, the battle between wants and needs always comes down to money and you would be hard pressed to find any museum that generates revenue. So the wait for a new museum in Maple Ridge continues. White fully understands the political nature of the problem. But as a curator, she hopes to be able to display some of the area’s antiquities. “I would love to see a new museum,” says White, who has been the curator in Maple Ridge for the past three years. “We have a huge archive and don’t really have the space for the public to access. I

completely understand the politics, but we really have to preserve our heritage because where else is it going to go if we’re not the ones keeping it ?” She estimates Maple Ridge can only display about eight per cent of its vast collection at any given time. Items like a complete 1960s dentist’s office sit in storage, begging to be showcased. “It’s one of the items that really piqued my interest when I first came here. Most people hate the dentist, but my mother was a dental hygienist, so I love the dentist. But it’s such a large exhibit we have nowhere to showcase it,” explains White. The Maple Ridge curator grew up in Sarnia, Ontario and began cultivating her love of history when she was a summer student while on break from film and

history studies at Queens University. She spent her summers working in Vancouver for Service Canada, at sites much like Haney House. “When I started university, I fully intended to use the film part of my degree and now everyday I use the history part,” laughs the 29-year-old White. One of her bosses in Vancouver saw the passion White had for the preservation of history and encouraged her to continue her historical studies. After leaving Queens, White left Canada for England, where she studied at The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. After graduation White found herself back in Canada, working in Smithers. “They hadn’t had a curator in, I think, seven years, and that really speaks to

the lack of funding. It’s really a shame because they have all these great artifacts and it could all be lost.” After her stint in Northern B.C., she accepted a job in Maple Ridge, another small but historically rich location. For the past three years she’s been doing her best to encourage the community to get behind the musuem’s need for a new site. “That’s what attracts me to the smaller institutions — finding a way to tell that story to a wider audience. I think that’s anyone’s goal in heritage. You want people interested in your community and this museum has some amazing artifacts.” White just hopes the community shares her passion.

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Runnin’ with the anti-Devil Story By Michael Hall

You’d never know looking at Clint Van Blanken now in his auxiliary police uniform, that he used to tour the roads of western Canada, living the life of a rock star, long dark curly hair and a Gibson Les Paul guitar. And if you did, you might wonder how he’s gone from that to running sub-four-hour marathons and completing Ironman triathlons to helping volunteers clock speeders in their neighbourhoods, or helping raise thousands of dollars for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. But it’s simple to understand, if you’ve ever met him. Van Blanken exudes enthusiasm, a perpetual positive attitude to go along with a dimply smile, and refuses to sit on the sidelines and watch life pass by. “It’s better to be the example, to be involved.” “I say yes everything,” he said. “I want to be known as someone who’s helpful, no matter what it is.” It’s an attitude that comes from his childhood. Van Blanken was born in Holland. His father was a semipro soccer player there, his mother a professional

ballerina. They emigrated to Canada just after Van Blanken was born, however, and due to his parents divorce, the family would move a lot more. Things weren’t always easy at home, Van Blanken said. He learned to cope by always looking at the positive side. “It worked for me.” Van Blanken never played sports growing up. But at age 13, living in Pitt Meadows, he picked up a guitar for the first time. He never took formal lessons, he just played. It was 1985, and Van Halen was still pretty popular, at least in his eyes. “Give me a sunny day, a cold beer and classic Van Halen, and I’d be happy.” Van Blanken and some high school friends first formed a band called Emergency Exit. They met others while competing in battle of the bands competitions in Maple Ridge. “We wanted to be involved with music,” he recalls. “Everyone had the same attitude. It wasn’t about fame, but having fun.” By 18, Van Blanken was travelling western Canada with a blues band. He lived a pretty clean life, steering clear of smoking and drugs. “Music was enough.” Then he did some work with Loverboy, at the late Scott Smith’s house in Whonnock. In 1992, he and his high school friends – Derek Knowles, Gord Dyck and Bob Bricker – formed Does Your Monkey Bite. They became the house band at Shooter’s in Maple Ridge for a while, then the house band at the Roxy in Vancouver after playing at the Molson Indy’s drivers party – a gig they got through their connection to the late Greg Moore. The band played at the Roxy for four years, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, sometimes even Tuesday. They would play five one-hour sets and be

Submitted photo

there from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. “Then go to our day jobs.” By 2007, it became too much, and they stopped playing the Roxy. The band still plays, and just celebrated 20 years together with a show at the Foggy Dew Irish Pub in Coquitlam. “The group is really about a brotherhood,” Van Blanken said. “Some guys play soccer on the weekend, we play music.” Everything from Sweet Home Alabama, to Roadhouse Blues to the latest Katy Perry song. As with the guitar, when Van Blanken sees something he wants to do, he does it. Like when he was touring in Red Deer in 1996

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natural fit. So he joined the committee and has been part of it since. The ninth annual Fund Run this past June raised more than $34,000 for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. The money helps buy much-needed equipment for the hospital. Looking for a change, in 2008 Van Blanken took his belief in volunteering and joined the District of Maple Ridge as its crime prevention coordinator, organizing volunteer-led initiatives such as Speed Watch, Citizens on Patrol, Community Policing, and auxiliary constables – 15 new recruits just graduated in June. He is an auxiliary constable – unarmed volunteers who complete an intense training program and are required to commit 160 hours minimum per year, working 70 per cent operational duties and 30 per cent in community policing initiatives – and was in uniform at the Fund Run this year. “I love being involved in the community,” he says. He loves his job, being around so many selfless volunteers – all 91 of them – so willing to help out. “They do it because they give a damn,” he said. “”They want to be here.” And so does he. “For me, it’s just an attitude of being enthusiastic, of being a helper in this world.”

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and watched the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii on TV and thought: “That is the craziest, but coolest thing that I had seen in my life.” He’d been eating fast food and not getting enough sleep. He started training for his first marathon just after Christmas that year with a group at the Running Room in Coquitlam. He’d never even run a 10-kilometre race before. He ran his first marathon that May in 3:50. His bandmates were at the finish line to congratulate him. Then they played a show that night. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Van Blanken said of his first marathon. “It introduced me to an active lifestyle, of being fit.” He’s now run six marathons, and three Ironman triathlons – swimming, cycling, and running. “I’ll probably be doing it again next year,” he said of latter, in Penticton. Besides competing, Van Blanken has also helped others train for long runs, leading clinics. While he was working for the Fraser Health Authority, the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation wanted to start a Fund Run in Maple Ridge and was looking for volunteers. “I believe in volunteering,” said Van Blanken, who thought, given his running background, the Fund Run was a

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Kindness is key Story by Colleen Flanagan

Teaching has a rhythm unlike other professions. In September, it’s cycle begins. Everyone is happy, excited about the upcoming school year. By the end of the month, however, the mood changes. Report cards are handed out. By the time Christmas arrives, everyone is tired. After the break, there is the slog from January to the end of March and finally spring break, report cards and summer vacation. Hugh Burke, headmaster of Meadowridge School, likes to keep a finger on this pulse. “You’ve got to stay in touch with the school,” said Burke. This is why, though unusual for a headmaster of a school the size of Meadowridge, he continues to take on a 20 per cent teaching load. “When people don’t teach, you can forget easily what it’s like to be a teacher. The dailyness of it. The immediacy of it. It only takes three or four months to

Photo by Colleen Flanagan

forget that and then you begin to run a system and not a school.” A native of Townhead, Scotland, Burke’s family immigrated to Canada when he was eight years old. He attended Vancouver College, an independent Catholic School for boys, and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts in English Rhetoric, his Professional Development Program and his Masters in teacher education from Simon Fraser University. Growing up in a poor family, says Burke, you tend to gravitate towards fields that are known to you. For him it was business, one of the sciences or

education, so he chose education. Burke’s first job as a teacher was a Grade 5 class at Chalmers Elementary in North Delta. Burke has also worked as an administrator in the Faculty of Education at SFU and at the Vancouver Talmud Torah where he was the first non-Jewish principal of the school. Currently, Burke is the president of the Independent Schools’ Association of British Columbia and an advisor to the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools board. Burke, who has taught at Meadowridge for the past 12 years, believes that kindness is the greatest asset to have as an educator. Children flourish under the guidance of kind understanding balanced by challenge. One of the good things about Meadowridge, is that it runs from junior kindergarten all the way to Grade 12. Eliminating the transition builds a stronger student community, he says. “Our Grade 12s have kindergarten buddies, our Grade 11s take the Grade 8s to camp,” said Burke. “Building links across the grades helps the kindness in the school.” After teaching in public schools, religious schools and secular independent schools he says there is no one better system. “Kids are kids, teaching is teaching and different places have different purposes,” said Burke.

“The purpose of [Meadowridge School] is to have children excel in whatever way they can. Which means that it is a highly enriched curriculum, but not a curriculum for every child. However, I don’t think that makes it better or worse.” Burke is positive about the future of the education system in Canada. Education is like medicine, he says, you can never have enough. And the medical system, like education, could always use more money. Like medicine, Burke continues, people keep adding problems to schools by wanting to add too much to the curriculum. “You have the idealism of teachers who want the very best for their kids facing a system that really can’t afford all of it,” said Burke. “I think what the schools have to do is determine what it is they are trying to do and not be all things to all people.” By and large he feels teachers do a good job and parents are pretty happy with schools. “I think that personalized learning is going to be where schools go in the future,” said Burke. “So you will see increasing credit given for experiences outside of school, you will see children encouraged to take on their own challenges, you will see more inquiry based learning.”

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Coaching better citizens Story by Colleen Flanagan

Greg Bodnarchuk is a bit of a seven freak. He wore the number on his jersey throughout his baseball career, and still does as a coach. He still finds it laughable that when he took his peewee team to the nationals in P.E.I in 2001, they won all seven games and beat Ontario in the 7th inning of the 7th game by a score of 7-6. And on the flight home, his catcher, after studying his B.C. minor medal, stood up and exclaimed: “There is no way,” when he discovered the No. 7 carved into the actual medal. Bodnarchuk is now known affectionately as Coach 7. Although Bodnarchuk played many different sports, including soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis and golf throughout his childhood, baseball was always his passion. So Bodnarchuk became the sandlot baseball junkie, watching his older brother and father play. Now 49, Bodnarchuk has dedicated 42 years to the Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association, (RMMBA), as both a player and a coach. He also played for the Coquitlam Reds in the Premier Baseball League and with the national men’s slo-pitch team. He started his coaching career in 1981, just after he graduated from high school, and has since coached every level. Currently he is the general manager of the RMMBA and continues to coach the junior Royals in the 24-and-under league, a team he has coached since the players were seven and eight years old. “The best reward a coach can have is when you have gone through your baseball career playing and coaching and you see what great young men we have created through the wonderful game of baseball,” said Bodnarchuk. As a coach Bodnarchuk has won many titles, including provincial gold, silver and bronze medals. However, winning the nationals in

P.E.I. with his Peewee AAA team is one of Bodnarchuk’s fondest memories. Baseball Canada named him coach of the year that same year, an award that was presented to him by Dave Stewart, a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays during their 1993 World Series triumph. The armful of accolades he’s collected is the result of a lot of hard work, as well as player and parent dedication. Practices could run up to three hours, but the parents were a big part of it, said Bodnarchuk. “They didn’t whine and complain because the kids were learning lots,” he said. “We used to have the parents buy some Slurpies for the kids because after we’d go over signs and that’s how I’d reward them. If you could tell me what hit-and-run is, good, you can get a Slurpie.” Bodnarchuk also coaches the coaches. And although there is a template and an instructional booklet, written by Bodnarchuk, he stresses learning by watching and doing. “I run them through the same program that the kids go through. So when they come they don’t just sit there with a pen and pencil. They bring their glove,” he said. Many of his players he’s coached return to give back to the local baseball community. “When I see a lot of those guys come back to help coach and they still want to play together and they still want to be very involved in the baseball community, I think we did a pretty good job,” said Bodnarchuk. Because it’s not just about the scholarships or making it to the major leagues, but building better citizens. “They all care and they come back to help, so it’s good. It builds a tradition.”

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Managing for an emergency Story By Phil Melnychuk

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Our Community. Our People. July 2012

The flowers have died from neglect in Barb Morgan’s little office tucked away in a corridor in Maple Ridge municipal hall. She hadn’t been in much in June because the Fraser River was doing its usual spring thing, carrying mega tonnes of water and silt and snowmelt from a heavy B.C. winter and dropping it all in the Lower Mainland. It was a busy few weeks because the snow pack in the Fraser basin was 30 per cent above average and emergency response was on high alert. If heavy rains hit, raging streams would have poured into the Fraser, causing a breach of the dikes and putting homes and businesses under water. That kept Morgan, emergency program assistant with the District of Maple Ridge, on edge and out of her office, causing the flower fatalities. Only after the river backed off did she have time to catch her breath. Not that she likes to relax too much. As a first responder, Morgan is wired to the adrenaline rush of being in the middle of a crisis and helping people get through one. In her other role as director for emergency social services, she coordinates 65 volunteers who help those who’ve been left homeless following man-made or natural disasters that range from a fire in a home that puts a family on the street, to helping multiple victims cope with widespread devastation from either man-made or natural events. That can mean tasks as simple as helping provide food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, family reunification, and insurance matters. When she’s not responding to those, as emergency program assistant, she’s pre-planning, along with emergency program manager Ceri Marlo to ensure everything works when a disaster strikes and the district’s emergency team is assembled. All that planning for an event people hope never happens could lead to some comfort as time passes uneventfully and the days blend into the years. But complacency isn’t an issue for Morgan. “I never do have those moments about why I’m doing this, absolutely not.”

Photo by Phil Melnychuk

With house fires a frequent occurrence, “we’re reminded monthly about the need for emergency social services.” That also keeps her skills sharp, she points out. In the quiet times, there is constant exchange of information with emergency planning colleagues locally and internationally. It’s an ever-changing field with lots of opportunity for those who have the aptitude. “Once you’re in the emergency field, you get the bug and you’re there,” she says. Training and preparation is never ending. “There’s always another mountain to climb. “I think what feeds me, is that it’s ever-changing. It’s not the same thing everyday.” You know the saying about finding a way of getting paid for doing a job you love? Morgan has done that. “It’s a cool job. I love it. I love what I do.” While the latest flooding crisis was averted, Morgan points out that such scenarios usually provide the luxury of notification in advance, a rarity in natural disasters. The same type of courtesy isn’t given when fire strikes. But that’s not at the top of the list of the worst types of disaster that could befall a community. The worst thing? “An earthquake, absolutely – and we are so overdue.” An earthquake can be so encompassing and so huge, she says. Following an earthquake, bridges can’t be used until they’ve been inspected, so even if they’re eventually cleared for use, it could mean days until families are reunited. About 55 per cent of Maple Ridge’s population works outside the district, which means they have to cross a bridge to get to work. “What happens if you’re separated from your kids?” she asks. Which leads her to offer a gentle reminder: keep your emergency kit near the entrance to your home so it’s accessible in a hurry or easy to get to if your house is in ruins. Morgan points out if you make preparations to survive such an earth-shattering event, getting ready for other lesser disasters is covered as well. “If we’re prepared for an earthquake, we’re prepared for anything.”


New Maple Ridge Hyundai

Dave Wyant

September 1, 2009 saw the dawn of a new era in the Albion Flats – Hyundai had come to Maple Ridge. And now, almost 3 years to the day, the new state of the art facility is ready for the world. Located at 23213 Lougheed Highway, in the Albion Flats, the new, 13,000-square-foot facility will better meet the increasing demand expected in coming years as Hyundai expands its model line-up.

But it’s not just the dealership itself that is looking forward to the new building. Steve Kelleher, President and CEO of Hyundai Auto Canada is also enthusiastic. “We see this kind of improvement as an opportunity to push the Hyundai marque forward,” Kelleher said. “This facility will represent the sum total of everything we know so far, and we expect that it will attract a whole new group of customers to Hyundai’s family of vehicles.” The new building has been designed as a perfect complement to Hyundai vehicles – that is, comfortable, efficient, and geared toward delivering value. Its state-of-the-art service department will be equipped to handle growing numbers of drivers while helping build Hyundai’s strong reputation for customer satisfaction. Dealer Principal of Maple Ridge Hyundai is David Wyant, who has over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, and a detailed understanding of what it takes to keep customers satisfied. Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, David and his family moved to the Maple Ridge area in 1994 and hasn’t looked back. David has been married to Lesley for 24 years (and counting!) and has three children, Lindsay, Mallory and Zachary. An avid observer of hockey, soccer and ball hockey, David can often be seen supporting the local Ridge Meadows Flames Hockey at Planet Ice on Friday evenings. Steve Kelleher said “The construction of Maple Ridge Hyundai’s new facility by David Wyant is great news for Hyundai, and great news for Maple Ridge. We know that once its doors open, the dealership will earn an even stronger reputation as a leader in customer service and a respected member of its community.” k Tamarac

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