West Vancouver Beacon | July / August 2024 | Edition 63

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Sunset from Caulfeild Ridge.
Photo: Ian McBeath


Chris Stringer Publisher

chrisstringer @westvanbeacon.ca

Lindy Pfeil Editor

lindypfeil @westvanbeacon.ca

Penny Mitchell Marketing

pennymitchell @westvanbeacon.ca

Melissa Baker Creative Director melissabaker @westvanbeacon.ca

Please note that all contributing writers for The Beacon retain full rights and that the full or partial reproduction of feature articles is unauthorized without the consent of the author. Personal opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are solely those of the respective contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Beacon, the publisher or the editorial and creative staff.

On not being a tourist

n 1988, I arrived in Italy with a backpack containing tarot cards, traveller’s cheques (remember those?) and a purple journal in which I wrote to friends and family, using carbon paper. (Remember carbon paper?) As I criss-crossed Europe, I mailed the letters back home to South Africa, never imagining that the carbon copies would someday find their way into a novel.

It was my first time away from home. High on my newfound freedom (and a dash of self-righteousness), I vowed to be a traveller, not a tourist. Isabel Allende, one of my favourite writers, says, “tourists go through a place and travellers try to become part of it.” At age 24, it is easy to live in black and white: to become part of a place, I reasoned, all it would take was to pack no camera. Five months. Countless countries. Not a single photo. Because I was not a tourist Today, 36 years later, I am back in Italy. I still pack light: only hand luggage, which this time includes a mother-of the-groom dress (and tarot cards). I still worry about being a tourist – about stomping obliviously through other people’s homes. But times have changed. My iPhone is now my wallet, my GPS, and my recorder of life, effectively replacing my little purple journal. I rationalise that my memory is not what it once was: I have become a person who takes photos.

I have always been drawn to places of worship. I don’t attend services, but I love the sense of calm that drifts over me when I enter a church. So, it’s with great anticipa-

tion that I head into the Italian sunshine, in search of the churches that struck me with awe all those years ago.

The statues are still here. The fantastic frescoes. Jesus bleeding on the cross. Mary. But this time, the churches bring no peace. There is no silence. Only tourists. Walking, talking, snapping photos of one another in front of bouquets of dead flowers. I sigh, pull out my phone, take a few photos to remind myself that I was here, and move on to the next church.

And then I stumble across the Church of San Michele in Cagliari. Signs on the doors warn: no photography. I pocket my phone and make my way down the aisle. There is no one else in the church. Not a single soul. There are many interconnecting chapels, and as I move towards the third one, a man approaches me from a side door and asks if I have time for a little tour.

“Yes, please.”

He tells me that the church was built using precise Baroque concepts. He points out the pelican (a symbol of sacrifice, I learn) and the phoenix rising from the ashes. He invites me to touch the altar – touch it! – explaining that it is made of wood and painted to look like marble. He points out the twisted pillars, the compass on the floor. Then he asks if I would like to see the sacristy. I almost hyperventilate (even though I am not Catholic).

We enter through a secret door. I can barely speak. This is more fantastic than Narnia. The paintings! The gold! The inlaid

woodwork! The air vibrates with holiness, or something.

“You have two more minutes?”

I nod. I would stay all day if he offered. Another secret room. Paintings of missionaries being crucified. Stories of miracles, of faith, and hope.

He tells me he must leave, but that I am welcome to stay. I thank him and slide into a pew. I kneel in front of the altar. Just me. And the silence. And my breath. In. Out. A miracle really.

My 24-year-old self was right: no photo could ever capture this moment. The blood running through my veins. The peace. The sense of awe - of being here, now. Fully alive. A traveller.

Photo: L. Pfeil
The dome of the Church of San Michele in Cagliari, Italy, June 2024.


Dinner on the Dock 2024

alking in the bay in eye-catchingly red jackets, or out on the water in one of their station’s two vessels, the first responders at RCMSAR Station 1 are always around to serve Horseshoe Bay and the Howe Sound. For one summer night every year since 2014, station members take their duty to “serve” more literally, as they come together to put on a community-focused fundraiser that seems to grow grander each passing year.

Deputy Station Leader Kevin Faw oversees the day-to-day of Station 1, facilitating callouts that range from routine (retrieval of unmoored boats, broken vessels in the ferry lane, drifting sailboats) to more serious circumstances, in which they may be the ones to bring much-needed peace to families facing unknowns.

The water is also an unpredictable envi-

ronment, and Station 1’s crews have recently been part of some unique recoveries outside of the scope of their regular duties. These included spontaneously saving a wounded eagle during an otherwise standard training day, and supporting fire rescues on the coast. Deputy Station Leader Faw recognizes the need beyond their standard duties, and hopes to see the future of Station 1 evolve accordingly.

“You can’t just go any given day and have dinner on the dock. It’s what money can’t buy.”

Still, Dinner on the Dock is a fundraiser, and, while guests’ experience is a priority,

Being an organization both volunteer-run and hyper-local, RCMSAR requires donations to operate, and leaders at the station know the value of making such ventures Horseshoe Bay-centric. Inspired by White Night in Paris and the existing infrastructure of the bay, Faw relishes Dinner on the Dock as an experience that can’t be replicated.

ask people for their financial partnership,” he says, adding, “this event and our story, by itself, is a legitimate ask.”

“We’re not restauranteurs. We’re a group of volunteers who are highly committed to rescues on the water and beyond...”

‘money’ is the prerogative. However, Faw does not view the event as a typical fundraiser. He reflects upon the evolution of the dinner, and the gradual growth of the scope of sponsors, prizes, and “staff” required: “(We) tell our story, put on a great night, and

He emphasizes that Dinner on the Dock, instead of asking for donations, rather offers guests the opportunity to engage in partnership and philanthropy with a confident and vital organization. An affair so ambitious and unique requires all hands on deck, in the most literal sense, for execution.

Deputy Station Leader Faw and a team of five begin accounting and logistical work in January. On the night, an average of 40 volunteers are needed to keep the event afloat. These volunteers play waiters, bartenders, ticketers, and beyond.

Before doors open, he preps volunteers with serving etiquette knowledge from his days as a waiter at Earls.

“We’re not restauranteurs. We’re a group of volunteers who are highly committed to rescues on the water and beyond,” he explains. “On this night, we pretend to play a restaurant.”

He says all the hard work pays off once it’s time to hit the dance floor, when the volunteers can join in the fun for a moment, or just sit and “bask.”

“The vibe is just amazing.”

The community can get involved in the work of RCMSAR beyond attending Dinner on the Dock and donating at the event – donations are always open at rcmsar01.ca. Additionally, they are seeking both new crew members and support members, and welcome applications at this time.

Enjoying the spectacular scenery at a past Dinner on the Dock.
Photo provided
Photo provided A tired eagle catching a ride with the crew of RCMSAR.

Heritage Club Games a resounding success

On June 8, the West Vancouver Tennis Club hosted the highly anticipated Heritage Club Games, a tennis charity event that draws participants and spectators alike to celebrate sport, community, and generosity. The event was blessed with sunny weather, providing the perfect backdrop for a day filled with festive activities and friendly competition.

Teams arrived in high spirits, donning creative and colourful costumes that added a vibrant flair to the matches. The winning teams, celebrated not just for their skills on the court but also for their standout costumes, set the tone for a memorable day.

One of the highlights was the BBQ lunch, where long-time tennis club members took charge of the grills, flipping burgers and sautéing onions to perfection. The aroma attracted hungry attendees who enjoyed the food while mingling with friends old and new.

The raffle draw featured a great selection of prizes generously donated by local businesses. Attendees eagerly awaited the announcement of the winners, hoping to take home some of the fantastic items on offer.

A standout moment was the exhibition game featuring the club’s coaches and highperformance juniors. Their skills and athleticism captivated the audience and inspired many young tennis enthusiasts.

Distinguished guests included West Vancouver mayor, Mark Sager, and the family of former mayor – and one of the founders of the West Vancouver Tennis Club – John Leyland.

The event raised over $1,500 for Athletics4Kids, supporting the charity’s mission to provide sports opportunities for children in need. It also served as a kickoff to the club’s 100th-year anniversary legacy celebrations, set to culminate in June 2025.

The Heritage Club Games was a triumph, bringing together the joy of sport, the warmth of community, and the spirit of giving.

Writing and reading on the North Shore

“Writing is living” is my motto (and the name of my website).

Over the years, writers like me have offered their work to the West Vancouver Beacon: a sign that the craft is alive and well. With three libraries, the North Shore is a haven for writers and readers alike. Furthermore, the North Shore Writers’ Association

(NSWA), a registered non-profit organization, serves as ‘a fellowship of writers at all stages in the writing journey, from novice to professional, published and unpublished.’ Writers in all genres and of all backgrounds meet and mingle at various supportive events, including monthly meetings featuring a notable guest speaker who shares new work and writing tips. Members receive the Write-On! newsletter.

The North Shore also benefits from a big box bookstore (Indigo in Park Royal) and several independent bookstores including Back Lane Books (for rare, collectible, used books), Book Lovers (for used books), Nima (for Persian books), Helicon Books, Kidsbooks, Novel Book and Café, Phoenix Books, and 32 Books & Gallery.

Before the summer recess, and to cap off

three decades of nourishing the North Shore’s literary community, NSWA is pursuing a membership drive. At a membership fee of $40.00 a year, it’s a super deal. A youth membership is available for writers aged 25 and under for just $5.00 per year.

For more information, or to join, visit nswriters.org.

The Court Jesters: Nancy Allan, Patty Sorenson, Patrice Graham, Janice McClintock. Photo provided
Photo provided
Members and authors at the NSWA’s April 2024 Festival at North Vancouver City Hall. From L to R: Barbara Reardon, Trish Gauntlett, Erin MacNair, Frances Peck, Wiley Wei-Chiun Ho, Marie-Claude Arnott, Laurel Gurnsey.

HThree Tales from the Bay

orseshoe Bay is full of stories, and while chatting with neighbours I hear many, so here are three.

The year was 1981 and Prince Charles and Princess Diana were getting married, but what you may not know was that there were in fact two Royal weddings that July. While the July 29 wedding took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the real wedding took place a couple of days later in Horseshoe Bay, with the chosen venue being the Troller Pub. Princess Diana (also known as Fiona MacNicol, a proud Glaswegian lass) married a handsome young local lad. After their (mock) ceremony they were taken for a drive around Horseshoe Bay to the cheers of the adoring crowds. As Fiona told me recently, “I remember riding through the crowded streets of the village wearing a borrowed wedding dress, giving the Royal wave to bystanders…. My prince was much more handsome than Princess Di’s.”

Another story involving a celebrity was told to me recently by John Bannister. John’s mother, Vera, played piano in the Troller Pub on Saturdays, after Lance Harrison’s band finished their gig at 6 pm. Vera was about to start playing one Saturday when she saw a young woman playing. Vera watched until the woman (who was waiting for a ferry) finished and then she walked over. “You are very good, keep practicing and you could become famous!” Turned out the woman was Joni Mitchell!

Recently, I visited a large grocery store in North Vancouver. As I was encouraged to move over to the self-service checkout,

I thought back to a story that had been related to me by several “old-timers” in the Bay. Long before there was access to a large grocery store near Horseshoe Bay, the MacPhersons owned the Bay Market which was in the same location as the current Community Spirits Liquor Store at Royal and Bruce Street. The story goes that Pauline would take people’s orders and package them up for her husband, Alec, to deliver. For those customers who bothered to lock their doors, he either had the key, or knew under which plant pot it was hidden. He would unload the groceries on the kitchen counter, and anything needing to be refrigerated would be carefully placed in the

customer’s ice box (or fridge). Not only was the cost of this service free, but Pauline kept a tab and customers paid at the end of the month. Now that was service!

The original store, (pictured here in a 1963 photograph), was seriously damaged in a fire in December 1958. However, the MacPhersons were able to get it back into business within a few weeks. I guess that permits were not a big issue back then.

A few years later the McPhersons demolished the store and built a new single story “mini shopping mall.” It included not only their new grocery store, but also a branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and a laundromat which served


both residents and the boating community. The shops opened in June 1964 and the second floor, which houses several apartments, was added later.

I hope to bring you more of Horseshoe Bay’s many stories in future Beacon editions.

The “new” mini shopping mall in April 1979. Photo: N. Benay, with thanks and permission from the West Vancouver Memorial Library Archives, 612.WVML
Photo provided
Horseshoe Bay Market, September 1963.

West Coast Modern Week

The West Vancouver Art Museum team is preparing for the third annual West Coast Modern Week, presented by British Pacific Properties Limited and Livingspace. West Coast Modernism is a unique architectural style with deep roots in West Vancouver. The stunning mountains, beautiful beaches, and verdant rainforests that make up our natural landscape pose challenges and opportunities that are reflected in the local architecture.

Since the Art Museum launched its annual Modern Home Tour in 2006, we have

Ushowcased more than 65 exceptional architectural works in the community, ranging in design from mid-century to contemporary. This year we are thrilled to continue the tradition by offering a rich and varied lineup of events, between July 9 and July 14, including lectures, panels, musical performances, exhibitions, and our ever-popular West Coast Modern Home Tour. There are still tickets available, so we hope that you will join us for some of the week’s events.

This year also holds special significance as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the West Vancouver Art Museum. Celebrating this milestone, we recognize the Art Museum’s pivotal role in enriching our cultural landscape and fostering an appreciation of diverse forms of contemporary

Capital gains oh my!

p until now, 50% of a capital gain, the difference between one’s cost base and selling price, has been included in a taxpayer’s income in the year realized. The new regime, announced in the April federal budget and effective June 25, continues this inclusion rate, but then increases this inclusion rate to 66.67% on capital gains over $250,000. Further, capital gains within corporations are fully exposed to the new inclusion rate.

While some Canadians will never have capital gains sufficient to reach the higher rate, others may find themselves subject to

just that. Clearly the word is out, as there has already been a flurry of property and investment sales by investors keen to avoid any increased taxation.

For example, carefully designed estate plans may have been thrown into disarray. The assumed after-tax values of properties may no longer match the balanced and fair intention of the testator. Worse, estate plans that employ life insurance to cover capital gains tax may now have a shortage of life insurance proceeds to fund the tax. Although hardly the intended target of these measures, lower income Canadians

and historical art, design and architecture for the past 30 years in our community.


who have saved to purchase rental real estate as a retirement asset will now be taxed like the wealthy. Professionals who have saved in their corporations, as physicians were encouraged to do in Ontario, will now have their retirement nest egg taxed at higher rates.

In many cases, capital gains realization can be carefully staged over many years to keep them below the higher tax threshold. This would be practical with an investment portfolio where targeted sales of individual holdings can optimize the capital gain just below the threshold. Larger value real estate

transactions are more difficult to manage; however, with planning, there may be relief. Lastly, on higher capital gain amounts, the taxpayer is required to compute the alternative minimum tax (AMT) with an inclusion rate of 100%.

Whatever your situation, this change to the taxation of wealth requires a careful review of tax strategy, investment planning and estate plans. If you haven’t already done so, get in touch with your professional advisors.

WHEN: 3 to 4:30pm on the third Saturday of each month (beginning September 21st)

WHERE: West Van Presbyterian Church (29th & Marine)

With expert instruction in many different kinds of dances, such as the waltz and foxtrot, as well as dances from different cultures. All ages are welcome to dance or relax and

Symons House. Photo: courtesy of Luis Valdizon

How do we equip our children to face uncertainty?

Ihave very recently returned from three years abroad in Tokyo, the biggest city on earth, to become the next head of school at Island Pacific School on Bowen Island, a community about 9,000 times smaller than Tokyo. And I get asked two questions everywhere I go these days.

The first is, “How was living in Japan?” If they know that I raised my own children on Bowen Island and that my father took me hiking across the North Shore mountains when I was a boy, they will ask instead, “How does it feel to be back home?” But it’s really the same question, just asked the other way around. Either way, I tell people that Japan is an extraordinary country. It is generous with its cultural and natural beauty and, a lot like Howe Sound, green and rugged, especially along its northern coasts. Nine-year olds ride the Tokyo trains all on their own. The food is better than you can imagine.

If I think they like to know about secret spots, I might also tell them about the Zen rock garden in the Ryoanji temple, in Kyoto. Surrounded by an earthen wall are fifteen rocks cleverly set out in small clusters on a sea of raked gravel so that no matter where you stand, one rock always remains hidden from view.  Mie gakure is the expression: seen and unseen, appearing and disappearing. All of Japan is like that and I am sad to leave it, to be sure. But I am also tremendously excited and happy to be back home, among my family and friends, to hug my granddaughter, and to be working in a school with young people again.

ways the more interesting one. Sometimes the question is, “What do you think the future of work looks like?” Or “What do you think about children using AI in school?” Some ask what children should know about the climate crisis or diversity and justice. A few ask about academics and grades. Those questions about what and how we teach children do matter. (For the record I think the future is positive, AI is great, climate

the second one, like the fifteenth rock at the Ryoanji temple garden, is: “The world seems so unsettled–will my child be ready for it?”

and social issues are what define us, academic study is a noble pursuit but while grades might get you into university, they won’t get you through it and I’m happy to meet for coffee to talk about any of these.)

The second question I am asked is al-

But just as there are different ways of asking the first question, the deeper question that sits behind all these variations of

I think so, as long as we work towards equipping and inspiring children over their school years to take on that uncertainty, rather than try to eliminate it for them. The future is inherently uncertain. That’s what Yogi Berra meant when he quipped, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”  While that can be scary it is also the thing that makes life interesting. How we face it gives us the measure of our humanity. I want our students to have the knowledge, skills and the

disposition to take on their careers, their home lives–the world–with wisdom, courage and integrity.

Brad Carter has spent the past 20 years travelling the world, working in and on schools and trying to get a first-hand sense of all that we mean when we talk about education and schooling and how we can make that the best it can be. He officially joins Island Pacific School on July 1, 2024, as its newest head of school.

Brad Carter - Incoming Head of School. Photos: courtesy of Brad Carter and Island Pacific School
Brad loves oysters.

Otter tripping on the West Coast Trail

For my brother Tim and I, it’s our seventh time on the West Coast Trail.

We’ve never walked it, end to end. That’s never been our goal. Rather, it’s just to get out here in this wild tangle of seaweed and Sitka spruce, and see what we find.

These words start the most recent movie on my Bob Turner YouTube channel, West Coast Trail, the Wild Side. This story, of a 2023 hike we did, is a celebration of a wild place and a great partnership.

The wild place is the West Coast Trail, on the outer shores of Vancouver Island. The partnership is with my brother Tim. We’ve been exploring wild places together for the past 60 years. And we’re still at it.

Our exploring began with our dad. Each spring, as the ice melted off the lakes of northern Ontario, Dad recruited us kids for a fishing trip into the wild heart of Algonquin Park. The speckled trout fishing season opened May 1, and as soon as the ice was off the lakes, he’d pull us out of school for a week. It was my sister Kathleen (now Glynn-Morris of Caulfeild Cove), brother Tim (now of Gibsons) and me.

Dad had his favourite fishing holes –

places that he’d fished with his dad. It took us a long day of paddling and a dozen portages from the highway to get there. Spring weather could be raw or glorious. Thankfully, the black flies had yet to appear, and the lake water sat at a few of degrees above freezing.

I remember asking Dad what we should do if we dumped the canoe.

His reply: “Don’t dump.”

“But what if we do?”

“Don’t dump.”

conjunction of rainforest and surf. This is the world of the West Coast Trail, a 70 km-long route between Bamfield and Port Renfrew and a centerpiece of Pacific Rim National Park.

Our first trip, two decades ago, was a revelation. The trail is through forest and

“...nowhere have we returned to more often than the West Coast Trail...”

In 1974, Dad took Tim and I on a trip down the South Nahanni River up in the Northwest Territories with a canoeing club called the Bytown Bushwackers. That triggered a hunger for more and led to a 10-month trip around the world in the late 1970s into the mountain country of New Zealand, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Afganistan.

For the past 30 years, our focus has been the wild corners of the Salish Sea and the red rock country of the Colorado Plateau. But nowhere have we returned to more often than the West Coast Trail – seven times in all.

Vancouver Island’s outer shore is a wild

along shore. We loved the shore. Doing the whole trail, with its long forest stretches, just to finish the trail, didn’t inspire us. But setting a camp somewhere along the shore and exploring from there – now that was rich.

Last May was one of the driest on record, and the trail, famous for its mudholes, was almost dusty. Out on the shore, where forest meets sea, runs a strip of shoreline stone – rock headlands, rock flats, and beaches of sand and gravel. The intertidal

rock flats – hiking highways – are our favourite. At low tide these flats are tens of metres wide, mudstone and sandstone beveled flat by storm waves. Speckled everywhere are tide pool aquaria, filled with crystalclear water, sea grass, sea stars, urchins, and a nervous scatter of tiny shore crabs. Out on the open rock flats, these shore crabs scatter ahead of us as we hike, like a bow wake.

This is the best hiking we know of, anywhere. Though it’s hard to cover ground with so much to look at. During our last visit, several grey whales were busy just offshore, diving to feed on the sandy bottom, sucking up great quantities of sea-floor sand to strain out the tiny shrimp inside. Often an eagle floated by, riding the wind. And everywhere, there were tide pools to gaze into. Add the sound of the surf and the smell of salt tang, and it all amounts to a grand sensory overload.

For the past two West Coast Trail hikes we have taken along our wet suits, facemasks, and snorkels. It’s an expensive extra couple of pounds when you are hiking this far, but having this gear has opened new ways of exploring: otter tripping. Tim and I define otter tripping as moving along the

Crab and anemone in a tide pool.
A spring canoe trip in the 1960s. From L to R: Tim, Kathleen (Glynn-Morris), Jay Turner, and Bob.
Photo: Bob Turner
Bob Turner

shore the way an otter does – in and out of the water. We wear wetsuits and running shoes, walking the shore where possible, then jumping in and swimming around impassible headlands.

Two years ago, we explored a stunning 2 km-long section of cliff-walled shoreline completely inaccessible from the trail. At one point we came upon a cave, dimly lit, encrusted with pink coralline algae that shed a pink glow. Standing at the mouth of

the cave in several feet of water, peering in, we came to realize that unfortunately we’d disturbed a seal pup nursery, and eventually 10 pups and a large female shot past us into open water.

The dry weather this past year came with a steady west wind that drove big seas and the surf was too rough for otter tripping, so we looked for quieter water. Tim and I grew up with facemasks and we learned early on that under water you enter a completely different world. On a rock platform we found deep pothole tidepools up to 20 feet across, and we slipped into the largest. But they were too deep and too shadowed

to support much life, so we moved on and found an offshore reef protecting a shallow area from the pounding surf, and that was rich with life. The best exploring is often in the shallowest water because snorkelling gets your nose right down on the bottom with the mussels and urchins, a close-up view that offers intimate details – scurrying crabs, flailing barnacles, open-mouthed mussels sucking water.

Further along, a stream tumbled over a sea cliff into a broad pool carved in the beach. We took turns sitting in the pool, feeling the pummell of falling water, then slipping underwater to watch through our

facemasks from below the pond surface punched by the plunging water.

The rest of the week had so many rich moments. Coming upon a dead whale. Marvelling at the power of kelp to hang on in a surge channel. Heading up-river to a waterfall pool. Bushwacking through the rainforest to get to hidden beaches. Probing shoreline caves. And every night, back around the fire, talking about it all. Watching a big moon rise.

Then we headed home. On the long walk out, we were already planning our return.

Tim hiking.
Photo: Bob Turner
Photo: Bob Turner
Tim and Bob flanking their dad on Nahanni River in 1974.
Hiking by a tidepool. Photo: courtesy of Tim Turner

VSummer brings time to read

ictor Hugo said, “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” Cultivating a lifelong love of reading at a young age comes with buckets of benefits. It is not just about learning vocabulary or phonetics at an early age. It has a ripple effect on other aspects of a child’s development such as life skills, imagination, creativity, concentration, discipline and cognitive development.

Encouraging your kids to pick up a book and read instead of playing video games can be a challenge, especially in our technology-based society. Here are a few tips to support your kids in taking the leap into the realm of reading.

Make it fun. Many kids think of reading as a chore rather than something that is enjoyable. Expose your children to different kinds of stories. Look for books with strong illustrations if you have a toddler. Chapter books, such as the Harry Potter and Percy

Jackson series, are a good choice for elementary school-age children.

Reading to your kids is also a great way to instill a love for reading. I remember how much I enjoyed bedtime stories when I was young. I rested on a soft pillow, smelling like spring flowers, and my eyelids grew heavier as I drifted towards dreamland. If you have a busy schedule that makes it difficult to find time to read with your kids, try an audio book from a library. They are an amazing alternative!

My daughter discovered the joy of audio books when she was participating in the Reading Challenge hosted by the West Vancouver Library. This challenge utilizes rewards-based learning strategies to motivate kids to read more. Audio books gave me a chance to read the same books with my daughter, Ema, while I was completing other tasks. It was wonderful because I was then able to discuss the books with Ema.

We explored the stories from different points of view. This piqued Ema’s interest and resulted in her reading the same books many times. She started recognizing the complexity of issues, and this developed her critical thinking skills.

Reading with your kids is an enriching experience, for the children and yourself.

Summer Reading Club is another great program offered by the West Vancouver Library to encourage students to read during the long summer months. It is ideal for elementary school students as it promotes reading for just 15 minutes a day. The reading club is open to all children from kindergarten to grade 6. Registration opens June 1 and continues throughout summer. The program runs from July 2 to August 25, and children are invited to a medal ceremony on September 13. Visit https://westvanli-

brary.ca/ kids-teens/summer-reading-club/ for more information.

Have a marvelous book-filled summer!

Chris Murphy
Steven Page
Moe Berg
Craig Northey

AThe lazy, hazy days of summer

ah, summer is just arriving and hopefully it brings some balmy heat with it, so here are some things to consider:

It’s best to keep your lawn longer now (the lawn is resting) and no shorter than about 2.5 inches to protect it from the sun’s heat. Back off on fertilizer at this time and you can resume in September.

If you have any shrubs or ornamental trees that have finished flowering, now is the time to prune to shape. The Golden Rule is to prune just after flowering.

Care for your roses! Water only to the base in the early morning, never on foliage. Trim flowers as they fade. You don’t have to count leaves as it really doesn’t matter to the plant. Roses will continue reflowering no matter what you

do to them. If your rose has just had its first flush, a very light application of natural based fertilizer is good. If you have a ‘rambling rose’ give a last pruning in August.

Did you plant garlic cloves last fall? If they are nicely faded and fallen, then late July is the time to lift them out to discover your bounty! Hopefully you removed the garlic scapes much earlier to give more nourishment to the bulb.

If you have tomatoes, keep the base damp. Water deeply in the morning to the base of the plant, never ever on the foliage and fruit. A light ‘side’ fertilizing, granular tucked just into the soil away from the roots is good as fruit develops. If in doubt on what fertilizer to use, choose a simple balanced product 10-10-10.

Pinch back those annuals almost daily to encourage con-

tinuous blossoming.

Late August is the time to snip off the flowering stems of lavender, not foliage as that should be done in February.

If you’re growing raspberries, cut last year’s fruiting stems to the ground and tie the newest canes (next year’s fruit) to a support.

Geraniums (pelargoniums) need fertilizer with a high middle number (phosphorus) to promote flower production. Halve the rate every 2 weeks.

My favourite plant this time of year is Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile). It’s a lovely perennial with tall stems and globelike flowers that does very well in pots. It’s great at a sunny front door.

Imagine yourself enjoying inspiring experiences, vibrant connection and stress-free senior living at one of West Vancouver’s most enviable addresses.

Take a casual stroll along the West Vancouver Seawall or visit shops and cafés at lively Dundarave or Ambleside Village. With convenient access to the library, seniors centre and peaceful parks, Westerleigh PARC’s location couldn’t be better.

Come for a tour and see for yourself why life is simply better at Westerleigh. Last call for our special pricing!

Ithought I knew what riddles were. My father loved riddles and liked to challenge me with them.

What kind of lion never roars? A dandelion!

What has a bottom at the top? Legs. As I grew older and lived through World War II, I learned of other kinds of riddling. Punching holes in things, as in “anti-aircraft guns riddled the wings of the enemy bombers.” Older still, and I had friends and family who were gradually “riddled,” or permeated by unpleasant life-threatening conditions. Oh no.

More recently, when time came for the summer re-planting of 12 large flowerpots on our patio, I learned of another form of riddling: the sieving of soil in pots to remove old bulbs, and other impurities, to make it ready to receive new life. Wow!

Not having a riddling basket, James commandeered one of my wire cookie

cooling racks to sieve the soil in every pot. He tossed dead bulbs, roots, lumps of rock and other intruders into a garbage bag. Digging deep into the riddled soil, he rubbed it, letting it run through his fingers like cake flour. Chocolate cake! My mouth watered. It looked good enough to eat.

I rushed to help. We prepared the riddled pots to receive their new guests. We added bone meal and Miracle Gro to enrich the soil. I made two trips to Home Depot’s summer nursery and brought home a stunning array of plants: dahlias, geraniums, pansies, ageratum, and alyssum, among them, to nestle in the welcoming soil.

It took two days of backbreaking, but satisfying, work to find the perfect home for every seedling and plant. It is the most glorious garden we have ever planted! (We say that every year. But this year, it seems true.)

I think the difference is the riddling. Already, I have ordered a real riddling basket

from Amazon for next year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could riddle ourselves? We could toss out the negative detritus that accumulates in our souls, robbing us of joy and of our full potential

for growth. Yes!

I can almost hear the flowers singing: Riddle-me, riddle-me, riddle-me-ree You’re ready to blossom and so are we!


In the 14 years that I’ve helped my clients buy and sell homes here, I’ve always felt that I’m not just selling a home, I’m selling a lifestyle. When I move someone into a new home, the process doesn’t end with me handing them the keys; I’m involved in connecting them with their new community - my community. I was fortunate to grow up in Eagle Harbour and my husband, in Horseshoe Bay. Our son and daughter learn in the

In the 13 years that I’ve helped my clients buy and sell homes here, I’ve always felt that I’m not just selling a home, I’m selling a lifestyle. When I move someone into a new home, the process doesn’t end with me handing them the keys; I’m involved in connecting them with their new community - my community. I was fortunate to grow up in Eagle Harbour and my husband, in Horseshoe Bay. Our son and daughter learn in the same classrooms that we did at Gleneagles - it doesn’t get more local than that. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the trails, parks and beaches that my family enjoys today. I feel very fortunate to have fashioned a successful career doing what I love to do in this beautiful area I call home and I would love to help your family buy or sell the West Coast dream... because I believe it is.

that we did - it doesn’t get more local than that. Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the trails, parks and beaches that my family enjoys today. I feel very fortunate to have fashioned a successful career doing what I love to do in this beautiful area I call home and I would love to help your family buy or sell the West Coast dream... because I believe it is.


This tastefully updated 4 bdrm / 3 bthrm / 2729 SF family home sits on its own private oasis with stunning ocean and nature views. Offering an ideal open floor plan with 3 bedrooms up, and rec room with 4th bdrm down.


This completely renovated luxury home offers 4 bdrms / 3 bthrms / 2806 SF and stunning ocean views. Main floor features an open-concept plan, along with a master suite and second bdrm. Double garage and large flat gated driveway.


A rare opportunity. Embrace unparalleled serenity with this 3+ acre waterfront property, a hidden treasure between West Van and Lions Bay. Accessible only by boat, this gem offers an unmatched level of privacy and tranquility.

5704 WESTPORT ROAD $3,200,000

This extraordinary 5 bdrm / 5 bthrm / 5661 SF residence sits on over half an acre. Main level boasts an open plan, gourmet kitchen and office. Upstairs is 4 or 5 spacious bdrms. Downstairs offers a rec room, gym, sauna and hot tub.


This 3 bdrm / 3 bthrm / 2,586 SF West Coast contemporary home sits at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Featuring an ideal floor plan with 3 bdrms up and rec room on the lower level. Completely private with beautiful ocean views.



This 3 bdrm + office / 3 bthrm / 3000 SF masterpiece sits on a desirable cul-de-sac. Exquisite finishes and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout showcase the stunning panoramic views and an expansive deck leads to the jacuzzi and pool.


This 4 bdrm / 5 bthrm / 4426 SF completely renovated residence stands proud on a sun-drenched expansive corner lot. The main floor unveils a gourmet kitchen seamlessly merging into a family room and connecting to a serene backyard.


This 5 bdrm / 4 bthrm / 4211 SF home on a 17050 SF lot is an entertainer’s dream. Beautifully renovated, it boasts 4 bdrms up, a ground-level full basement a gourmet kitchen on the main leading to an outdoor kitchen with gazebo. SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD

This 4 bdrm / 4 bthrm / 4600 SF family home, perched on a large 13500 SF lot, boasts the perfect blend of elegance & comfort. Main floor beckons with a large kitchen and family room that seamlessly flow out to a private patio.


Experience breathtaking views from this stunning property, featuring an expansive open floor plan and 5,299 sq ft of luxurious living space. With 6 spacious bedrooms and a swimming pool, this home is designed for comfort and entertainment. Large family room adjacent to the kitchen that offers a picturesque view of the ocean and pool. Over $450K in upgrades.

Offered at $3,698,000


Explore your perfect downsizing opportunity in the prestigious Rockcliffe Estates! Immerse yourself in this exclusive haven, conveniently located near all essential amenities. Tucked away in a tranquil corner of the community, this residence boasts an inviting presence, ready for you to make it your own.

Offered at $2,598,000


Experience the epitome of living in Ambleside Village at The Westerlies. This meticulously renovated 2-bedroom residence sets a new standard of luxury. Hardwood floors grace the living areas, while the kitchen showcases stunning tile and granite countertops. Crafted with precision, enjoy the elegance of custom millwork and solid shaker style doors throughout.

Offered at $1,050,000


Enjoy both the beauty and the soothing sounds of the ocean from your own WATERFRONT seaside retreat. Luxury and lifestyle await you at Oliver’s Landing, a prestigious gated community just 20 minutes from West Vancouver.

Offered at $2,098,000

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