West Vancouver Beacon | January/February 2021 | Edition 42

Page 1

THE No. 42

BEACON Shedding light on the communities from Lions Bay to West Bay

January/February 2021

Photo: Richard Duncan

Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region nomination endorsed by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (announcement on Page 3).



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January/February 2021


Chris Stringer Publisher

chrisstringer @westvanbeacon.ca

One true sentence

Lindy Pfeil Editor

lindypfeil @westvanbeacon.ca

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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.

Submissions for The Beacon The Beacon is delivered bi-monthly to 5000+ households between Lions Bay and West Bay. For submission guidelines and queries, please e-mail the Editor: lindypfeil@ westvanbeacon.ca Please note that all submissions are subject to space constraints and editing. For advertising queries, please e-mail the Director of Marketing: pennymitchell@westvanbeacon.ca For all other queries, please e-mail the Publisher: chrisstringer@westvanbeacon.ca All editions of The Beacon (beginning in September 2013), can also be read online at: www.westvanbeacon.ca.

Lindy Pfeil


was scrolling through my Instagram feed one Thursday evening, when this popped up from the West Vancouver Foundation: “Do you have an idea for a Neighbourhood Small Grant Project?” The fantastic foundation provides funds for community-building projects. And I did have an idea: writing workshops! Since the dawn of time (apologies for the cliché) storytelling has connected human beings, even when all we could do was grunt. By writing about our everyday experiences during 2020, I proposed, we could document life in West Vancouver during this utterly unique time in history. We could publish a book! A legacy to leave behind for future generations. It was filmmaker Jean Luc Goddard who said, “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” And reality, for the past year or so, has been more than a little complex. What better way to give it form, than through a story or two? I submitted the application three hours before the deadline. The grant committee got back to me with almost as much enthusiasm as I had mustered while writing the grant. And then I panicked. Would anyone register? And if they did, would they

be writers? Where would we meet? And how would I possibly be able to pull together a real book with pages and everything in only two months. While working fulltime. During a pandemic. Because this is such an incredible community, 24 people signed up. A domain name and Zoom account were purchased. And I learned about breakout rooms and chat features, only hyperventilating once or twice. We gathered in cyberspace one Tuesday evening in November. Ranging in age from 15 to 80-plus, we introduced ourselves from inside our little onscreen rectangles. We each shared a story about a place in our community that had significant meaning for us. And then we closed our eyes and meditated. About the year 2020. It seemed, somehow, the sensible thing to do. Over the next four weeks, we wrote our stories – of love, loss, laughter and everything between. Sharing your story requires a leap of faith. That you will be heard. Perhaps even understood. We read, listened, asked questions, laughed and cried. A lot. Connections were made. Kindness and compassion apparently travel through cyberspace without a hitch. Ernest Hemingway once said, “All you

have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” And so that is what we did. We wrote one true sentence. And then another. And before you know it we had a book. West Vancouver Stories feels like a gift of hope for 2021. A celebration of resilience. Proof – as if proof was needed – that stories unite us, create a sense of belonging and kinship. Community. And what a community this is. Thank-you, West Vancouver Foundation, for funding West Vancouver Stories. More information can be found at www.westvanstories.com

If you are not receiving home delivery of The Beacon please let us know at chrisstringer@westvanbeacon.ca



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January/February 2021


Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere initiative BY

Lindy Pfeil


he Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society recently received word from Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), confirming the submission of Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound to become Canada’s 19th UNESCO Biosphere Region. He congratulated the society “on this important milestone in your efforts to achieve the prestigious UNESCO designation.” The CCUNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO. It is responsible for ensuring UNESCO Biosphere Reserves fulfill the high standards of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program. Ruth Simons, project lead, said “We are four and a half years into the rigorous process for attaining this designation, and we are proud that our nomination document meets the high standards required for submission to UNESCO.” The Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative is a collaboration with Squamish Nation and engages locally to set an example globally of finding balance between environmental conservation and economic development. Biosphere Reserves are regions of global ecological significance that make an ongoing commitment to the United Nations to strive for sustainability. They are not parks, and they have no legal authority. They are places where people are inspired to find ways to live and work in harmony with nature. The framework of UNESCO Biosphere

Reserve program aligns with the overarching objectives of communities around the region that are striving for a low carbon future, while balancing livability, resilience and prosperity. A UNESCO designation recognizes the best practices implemented in the region towards management of biodiversity and sustainable development. Howe Sound’s glass sponge reefs are of global ecological significance. While individual glass sponges are found worldwide, glass sponge reefs have only been found in the Northeast Pacific. Scientists have likened the discovery of glass sponge reefs in BC to discovering a herd of dinosaurs on land. They provide habitat for 84+ species of fish and invertebrates and according to Fish-

eries and Oceans Canada, Howe Sound reefs are some of the most biologically productive found to date. They provide essential services for Howe Sound by filtering 17+ billion litres of water every day. It would take the reefs just two hours to pump the equivalent of Metro Vancouver’s daily wastewater volume and they remove 436 kg of total organic carbon from the water each day. “Building the submission documents has required a rigorous process, and one that has created opportunities for individuals, organizations, governments and First Nations to come together to discover common ground based on a compelling vision and goal,” says District of Squamish Mayor, Karen Elliott. “Successful designation

Howe Sound Community Forum at Camp Fircom.

as a UNESCO Biosphere Region will help to underscore the environmental significance of Alt’ka7tsem/Howe Sound while finding balance with human and economic activity in this region. No doubt, this work, provides the backdrop for deeper regional collaboration and innovation. We wish to thank Ruth Simons, Squamish Nation and all those involved in this project for their unwavering passion and accomplishments in reaching this important milestone.” West Vancouver Councillor, Sharon Thompson, has been involved with the initiative for a number of years. “Howe Sound has got to be one of the most complex reSee ‘Model’ — page 5

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January/February 2021

Why Pilot House Road? BY

Gill Roberts


he BC Pilotage authority, with its 110 pilots, annually services over 12,000 vessels along the BC coast. The pilots are transported to their assigned vessels by pilot boats or by helicopter. A six-day traffic report for Vancouver on October 25, 2020 alone, shows 30 ships either under the control of a pilot or waiting to have a pilot assigned to them. Roll back to 1879 and the pilotage scene is vastly different. The first reference to pilotage came in 1858 when the Surprise, on her way from San Francisco to Hope, paid a local Indigenous man $160 in gold pieces to guide the vessel up the Fraser River. In the early 1860s, the settlements around Burrard Inlet began to feel the need for pilots to navigate between Stamp’s Mill on the south shore and Moodyville on the north. Finally, in 1865, licences for pilotage were granted to Charles Houston and A.J. Chambers. After the union of the two colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, an ordinance was passed, “to assimilate the laws for the regulation of pilotage in all parts of BC.”* In 1879 a formal board for regulating pilotage in Burrard Inlet was created . The historical records of the actual activities of these pilots in the later years of the nineteenth century are sporadic and hard to find but it is told that the pilots, who seemed a bit of a law unto themselves, set up on both Point Grey and at Caulfeild to wait for the next sailing ship to come into view. There would then be a race between the two camps to get to the vessel first and thus obtain the right to pi-

lot the boat and to the fee that went with it. In 1891, the competing pilots finally agreed to work together and to undertake month-long tours of duty in Burrard Inlet (followed by two months of respite in Victoria!). The previous year, the pilot boat the Claymore was built; 55 feet in length, twelve in breadth and drawing five and a half feet, she was built at a cost of $2,500 and the pilots would live aboard for their terms of duty. Sometime later, a pilot house was built. Situated on a rocky promontory just south of where Francis Caulfeild’s memorial anchor lies, it was a small house with a verandah along the west side from which a constant lookout was kept for incoming vessels. It would appear, from an early photo, that the house was in use by 1894. Immediately to the west of the house is a deep cleft in the rocks where the pilots built a boat-shed to house the Claymore. Today, very little of the house remains – a few concrete foundations, and still some fruit trees, roses and irises which must have been part of the pilots’ garden. For many years this was the home from home and work place for the men whose job it was to bring ships safely into Vancouver Harbour. It was suggested that some of them were rusticated there for duty to remove them from such temptations as alcohol. In spite of its remoteness, the Caulfeild station supplied the pilots with a boatman and also a cook so life there was not without its comforts. After years of bureaucratic wrangling, the BC pilotage was abolished in 1920 which spelled the end for the little house, though it remained in place, rented to Captain and Mary Kettle in life tenancy. It


The Cutter Claymore.

Photo: courtesy Vancouver City Archives

The Pilot Station at Skunk Cove circa 1894.

Photo: courtesy Vancouver City Archives

was finally burned down in the early 1940s as a training exercise for the local firemen. The Claymore went on to better things. After the pilotage sold her to Mr. R. H. Alexander in 1906, she reappeared as the Royal Vancouver Yacht club flagship Slani

– definitely a step up in the world! *Smith, D.B. (1967), Early History of Pilotage in BC. Provincial Archives of BC JGP 5m5.

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January/February 2021


Model of ecological health Continued from page 3

gions of BC with its mix of governments, culture, environment and geography,” she explains. “Ruth and her fluid team ably held the reins and navigated the initiative to fruition. The important partnership between the HSBRI and the First Nations was fostered through continuous listening, sharing and learning about each other. The success of collaboration in this initiative serves as inspiration for our future relations in Howe Sound. Bravo Ruth. We are very proud and excited for this accomplishment in our region.”

The nomination package has now been sent to UNESCO in Paris for review by the International Advisory Committee. The recommendations from this review panel will be known in April/May 2021. All being well, formal designation would be announced in the fall/winter of 2021. West Vancouver Mayor, Mary-Ann Booth, comments: “We in the Sea to Sky corridor have the good fortune to live in one of the most unique and beautiful ecosystems in the world. On behalf of West Vancouver Council, I am proud and grateful to everyone who has dedicated years to

the Howe Sound Biosphere initiative, and so pleased that the application for recognition of the region has been accepted for consideration by UNESCO.” A UNESCO designation would bring pride to those collaborating towards being an outstanding model of sustainability and ecological health, now and in the future. Visit the website for additional information: www.howesoundbri.org Photo: Chris Christie Cover for Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region nomination document.

Resident historian in Caulfeild 60 years BY

Gill Roberts


arrived in Vancouver from England in April, 1960 fully intending to stay for a year or so and then travel on to New

Zealand where I had grown up. I stayed with friends who lived on Cherbourg Drive and one morning, shortly after my arrival, I walked down to Lower Caulfeild and was immediately struck by the beauty of the area. How lucky to live in such a place, I thought, never for a minute dreaming that one day I

might do so too. Six months later I was living in the old red-and-white store at 4768 Pilot House Road. Because of the history in that old house, I gradually became more interested in the local history. I began interviewing some of the older residents who had lived in the

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area since the ‘20s. Later, we moved to the house across the road (where we lived for 54 years), and during that time I continued my research. The page 4 story about the Pilotage, is a shortened version of a paper I did for a history course at Capilano College in 1976. And I never did get to New Zealand.

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Rockridge Interact Club gives back BY

Katelyn Jewell

Co-President, Rockridge Interact Club


ockridge Interact Club, in Caulfeild, has been working through the COVID-19 pandemic to give back to the community. A division of Rotary International, it is a student-run club dedicated to service above self. With 15,000 clubs in 145 countries, Interact Clubs seek to foster international understanding and unity, through raising funds and awareness for important global and local initiatives. The Rockridge Interact Club has raised thousands of dollars for polio vaccine funding and has kept spirits high in their community during these unprecedented times. In response to health safety protocols, the

Rockridge Interact Club has taken to virtual meetings and social distancing fundraisers to continue their service initiatives. Rotarian and Interact Club mentor Karen Harrison says, “I am proud of the Rockridge Interact executive and members who have displayed great leadership, creativity and persistence in continuing to fundraise and to give service despite the challenges at this time.” In July, students showed their support for local healthcare workers at Lions Gate Hospital. Following the local and global impact of the current COVID-19 crisis, the Rockridge Interact team designed thankyou cards for local healthcare workers. The goal of Cards for Care was to show appreciation for the brave and valued healthcare providers and to support them as they work to keep our communities safe.

Photos: courtesy of Rockridge Interact Club

Rockridge Interact Club delivering thank-you cards for healthcare workers at Lions Gate Hospital.

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Faced with the challenges of adapting to the school safety requirements, the students turned to new methods and events to continue contributing to their community. Through an October Pumpkins for Polio sale, the club was able to spread holiday cheer while raising a total of $1500, protecting 500 children in third-world countries from contracting polio. Rockridge Principal Judy Duncan, who sponsors the Club, says she is continually impressed by the dedication and commitment of these students. “They are always looking for ways to recognize and support those in need, which aligns so well with our school’s philosophy of encouraging student-initiated action. I am very proud of how our students think beyond themselves and engage in worthy causes to make a positive impact on others.” In December, the Rockridge Interact Club worked with the North Shore Family Services Christmas Bureau to gather slightly used clothing, gift cards, and other items to support youth for the holiday season. “It’s such a great experience to be able to organize events like these for our community, and we are so grateful for everyone’s support around the school,” says executive member, Alina Jarvis. The student executive team of Rockridge Interact are thankful for the opportunity to continue contributing to their community, and for all of the support in making these events so successful. Coming together during these difficult times has taught us the power of determination and compassion to create positive actions. We will continue

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Rockridge Interact Club selling pumpkins for End Polio Now at Rockridge Secondary School.

to seek to make impactful change, both in West Vancouver and globally. Rotary International has 34,000 clubs with 1.4 million members worldwide. The Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise is a service club of men and women who work quietly in our community to improve the lives of residents and create opportunities for youth at risk and persons in crisis. For more details visit rotary5040.org Rockridge Secondary School strives to graduate responsible and creative global citizens in a respectful and diverse environment where relevant learning fosters excellence in personal achievement, compassion, curiosity, and critical thinking. For more details visit westvancouverschools.ca You can follow the fundraising efforts and activities of the Rockridge Interact Club on Instagram @rockridge.interact or email them at rockridgeinteractclub@ gmail.com.

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January/February 2021



Rockridge student publishes photobook BY

Lindy Pfeil


eventeen-year-old Anikha Khan recently published her first photobook, Architecture & Design: Vancouver’s Iconic Buildings, featuring 38 of Vancouver’s mustsee buildings, showcasing a variety of styles, materials, and designs. chose architecture Anikha’s interest in photogas the topic, further raphy began in grade 5, during a developing this interphotography unit. “We would go on est.” Anikha’s grandfather Anikha Khan. walks around the school and in the is both an artist and an arPhoto provided forest to take photos. I remember rechitect. ally enjoying it; it was around that time that Two years ago, for her grade 10 InterI began to constantly take photos - mostly national Baccalaureate personal project, of nature, including flowers and sunsets,” Anikha combined her passions for photogshe recalls. “In grade 6, I chose photog- raphy and architecture by capturing images raphy as my interest-based inquiry, and I of some of Vancouver’s most unique buildtaught myself how to manually make a pan- ings. orama photo using Word!” Spurred by COVID-19 earlier this year, Art has always been her passion, and she when finding a summer-job was neartook many art camps at the Silk Purse Art impossible, Anikha decided to pursue her Gallery and through the West Vancouver dream and transform her project into a Community Centre. “I remember building vibrant 10x10 softcover coffee-table book. houses out of toothpicks and popsicle sticks. This keepsake contains over 100 breathI enrolled in an architecture camp at the taking photos and is divided into five secWest Vancouver Art Museum during the tions: Residential, Commercial, Public, summer after grade 5. We designed plans Hotels and University of British Columbia. and built a model of our “Dream House,” It makes a great gift for family, friends, colwhich I really enjoyed. I was fascinated by leagues, clients, business associates and the remarkable architecture around the staff. world which we learned about. In grade “I have always felt fortunate to be living 6, for our year-long magazine project, I in such a spectacular part of the world,” An-

ikha says. “My goal was to educate both visitors and local Vancouverites of the city’s innovative architecture.” This desire to educate also led to Anikha starting a photography club at Rockridge. She leads weekly meetings where she shares her skills and knowledge with other students. “My motivation for creating this club was the fact that photography isn’t offered as a subject until grade 11; this way, younger students now have the chance to learn about, and experiment with, photography.” Anikha hopes to study business/commerce and perhaps afterward explore graduate studies in architecture. She also plans to create more photobooks, as well as greeting cards, bookmarks and calendars. To keep up with Anikha, or to purchase a copy of Architecture & Design: Vancouver’s Iconic Buildings, go to her website: www.Anikha-Photography.weebly.com. When you order Anikha’s coffee-table book, you can select any one of the above three cover options.

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January/February 2021


Ready, willing and able…to serve Chris Stringer


his was the commitment from 12-year-old Brenda Davidson during her campaign speech while running for grade 8 rep. When she became the five-term mayor of Lions Bay, Brenda Broughton maintained this core commitment, as she has done throughout her life of service as wife, mother, politician, corporate executive, clinical counsellor, environmental activist, global leader and community volunteer. Attempting to focus on only one of the above roles in Brenda’s life is impossible, because they were usually performed concurrently, with little impact on her energy, focus, skill, compassion, strength and passion. Born in Prince Rupert and raised in Burnaby, Brenda was the fifth of six girls whose parents instilled strong values for community service. Her father was Director of Special Education for Coquitlam. Her mother was Girl Guide Commissioner, later a teacher. They were role models for the Davidson girls, each of whom has accomplished careers. Her eldest sister, Diana, received the Order of Canada for starting the Vancouver People’s Law School. Brenda re-

ceived the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her “significant contributions and achievements.” Brenda’s eldest sisters recall her constant pursuit of information as a child. Sister Gail, UBC Trekker Award Recipient, recalls very young Brenda’s quest for determining alternative words for existing ones. Diana relates: “Brenda’s sense of doing things right seemed to come naturally to her from a very young age.” At Simon Fraser University, this sense of ensuring that things were right, found 17-year-old Brenda, an outspoken moderate, in the office of University President, Dr. Kenneth Strand during a tense period of protests by students and faculty. Brenda was there to persuade him not to resolve the issue by bringing in the RCMP. She felt that the situation would get out of control and that a more gentle, caring approach would be better. The RCMP were not brought in and Brenda was featured on the CBC’s This Hour Has Seven Days. “I have always been someone to not shy away from assisting where my approach may make a difference, feeling a sense of responsibility and drive to assist in making a difference with the skills and/or knowledge that I had at the time,” explains Brenda. Michael Broughton met and fell in love with Brenda Davidson at high school. They were married at ages 19 and 20. “What Michael wants Michael gets,” Brenda smiles,

The Davidson family, 1989. Brenda is second from left, top row.

describing her husband as “loving, giving and caring.” Lions Bay has been Brenda and Michael’s home – and passion – since 1972, when they bought a lot on Bayview Road. They built their first home in 1974 and in 1981 the family moved down the hill to Lions Bay Avenue. Brenda began serving the community exactly one year after moving there. She advocated for a school in Lions Bay and sat on the design team after it was approved. When construction completed, she became the charter PAC Chair of the new school and PAC Chair when the school opened. “Brenda’s dedication to education for our youth was inspirational in the formation of the Lions Bay Community Scholarship Foundation, serving since 2004,” says Louis Peterson, past and charter Chair. The 1970s marked the births of Gillian, Tegan and Bronwen. Brenda enjoyed life as a stay-at-home mum while serving the school as PAC Chair and being involved in various community and school fundraising activities. Michael commuted to Burnaby where he taught high school, was head of the math department and served on the Burnaby Teachers’ Association. Later, as an administrator, he created Burnaby Online

Photo provided

Michael and Brenda, November 2019

and served on the Burnaby Administrators’ Association. Between 1976 and 1980 he served as a Lions Bay Alderman. This council created Kelvin Grove and Michael’s voice secured the Kelvin Grove Beach for the community. Brenda began studying for her master’s degree. Later, Michael would add a doctoral degree. Thriving on busy lives and meeting new challenges are earmarks of the Broughtons. Brenda says, “While I was home based we became involved in the housing market, purchasing the ‘worst’ home on the block, improving and expanding the interior, painting and landscaping the exterior. I took the two children who were not in school for a ½ day, delivering them home in time to get one to afternoon kindergarten. The baby would be in the playpen, while I worked with them both close by. My mother visited a project one day and said, ‘Brenda, you have someone to clean your home. You are beginning your graduate studies in the fall. What are you doing three stories up painting this house?’ I responded that it’s because it’s so real and I love the transformation.” She explains: “Michael and I worked as a team. He would return home from a day of teaching, put on his work tool belt and head off to the reno site. There is nothing that Michael can’t do.” Team Broughton purchased, renovated

January/February 2021

and sold numerous houses. Later, in 1998 the Broughtons’ renovation experiences became essential when they purchased the Lions Bay General Store and Café. They redesigned, rebuilt and installed floors, walls, windows, furnishings and equipment to upgrade and compliment the village motif. Staff were hired and trained, including managers. Brenda and Michael set a positive village feeling for the Store and Café. In 1983, Brenda began a 17-year career with Family Services of Greater Vancouver, where she created and served as Associate Executive Director of The Employee Assistance Group. Under her guidance, the EAGroup grew from serving one to over 100 local, regional and national organizations. She chaired national marketing for Family Service Canada for a decade. Brenda’s 15 years as Mayor of Lions Bay began in 1993. During her tenure she served on the Metro Vancouver Board, Translink’s Mayor’s Council, the BC Mayors’ Caucus, Howe Sound Community Forum, of which she was visioner and charter Chair, the Strategic Planning Committee and as Regional Transit Commissioner. She assisted with Bowen Island becoming a municipality, restructuring Lions Bay to add the community of Brunswick Beach and the creation of the first Official Community Plan. Brenda feels that a key element of her success as a leader was, “Bringing skilled

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award, 2012.

thinkers, volunteers and funders together to create successful and meaningful project outcomes.” Long-time Lions Bay resident, Max Wyman, says, “Many people look on Brenda as the spirit of the village. In her years as mayor she always had its best interests at heart, and was its most stalwart and vociferous advocate. What made her so successful was a unique blend of qualities: professionalism (she always did her homework, whatever the issue); a relentless appetite for work; the conviction that what she had to offer was right for her community; and an enduring awareness of the importance of interpersonal relationships. Her approach was always gracious (though the hand inside the velvet glove could prove a steely one) and her enthusiasm was inextinguishable.” West Vancouver Mayor, Mary-Ann Booth, adds, “As a woman, I looked up to her as a wise and trusted role model and mentor. I feel privileged to have worked with Brenda, and she has positively influenced where I am today.” Brenda’s strong environmental consciousness led to her serving as a charter director on the Save Howe Sound group that put necessary pressure on the Howe Sound/ Port Melon Pulp and Paper mill, that had been contaminating the sound for decades. Clean-up from years of the Britannia Mine pollution of the sound began. As a result of the environmental recovery efforts, Howe Sound is home to varieties of ocean life that had been missing for several decades.


Chair of the Lions Bay Historical Society, Tony Cox, comments about Brenda’s extensive work as an environmental advocate: “Brenda developed her vision of Lions Bay in Howe Sound and her desire to retain the area free from industry. In all things she is a skilled and successful lobbyist and negotiator for this area and her commitment in her attempt to stop LNG from introducing this type of tanker traffic in the Howe Sound corridor.” Brenda’s life of public service and accomplishment was not achieved at the expense of her family or her private life. Her daughter Bronwen says: “My mum highly values family including her family of origin, her family of creation, and the family of friends she has built in the community. Her friendships span her lifetime - her best friends from elementary school are still her best friends. Her “mom friends” from when See ‘Tributes’ — page 11

Lions Bay Elementary official school opening, April, 1977. Brenda Broughton, PAC Chair, welcoming guests and thanking the PAC and staff for all their efforts.

Mayor Brenda Broughton in the Council chambers in 2012.

Photos provided



January/February 2021


Around the neighbourhood in 2020 Chris Adshead


few days ago, a friend called to chat and he reminded me of an editorial I wrote in the Spring

2013 issue of The Westerner. Its title was “Define Elderly!” The editorial had been sparked by a flurry of emails received at the time, suggesting that neighbourhood groups are NIMBY organizations run by elderly residents. As I’ve been involved with many local neighbourhood groups over the years, I take exception to this point of view. The acronym NIMBY stands for “Not

in My Backyard” and is often used to describe residents who protest against local developments that affect them. According to UK journalist, Max Hastings, “the word NIMBY is used by politicians as a term of abuse. Instead it should be a badge of honour as it describes someone who cares passionately about what happens on his or her patch of land and refuses to believe that the man from the Ministry knows best.” The Tamarack Institute poses the question, “What is a neighbourhood’s greatest asset? The people who live there! Residents have the most knowledge about the neighbourhood and can offer keen insight into the best things about living in the neighbourhood and what could be improved.” We are very fortunate to live in West Vancouver where our mayor and council ask the opinion of those living and working here. It’s clear that seniors have been particularly affected by COVID-19, but who do we mean when we say “seniors?” It could mean people who are frail, old, or just past middle age and approaching the later stages of life. It’s said that you are only as old as you feel. I’ve met young people with Victorian attitudes and also people in their 90s who have a lust for life. We’ve all read of seniors who are doing great things during this time of COVID-19, like Italian Giuseppe Paterno who, in November, at age 96, received his diploma making him Italy’s oldest university graduate. Or Captain Tom Moore, a 99-yearold British army veteran who walked 100

lengths of his garden to raise money for the UK National Health Service. He became an international celebrity when he set out to raise £1,000, but in the process raised over £13 million. Life in lockdown has not been easy for many seniors, here in our local community. West Vancouver Foundation and the West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre have stepped up to provide a meal program for vulnerable seniors. This effort has been supported by community members, many of whom are themselves seniors. Meanwhile, numerous are fortunate to have the time and energy to be involved in local affairs. They have the desire to see that the best is done for their community. Therefore, it is no wonder that there is more gray hair in the ranks of neighbourhood groups. These residents have patience, experience and enthusiasm. Neighbourhood resident groups such as the Western Residents Association are not just for “the elderly.” The reality is that they comprise residents of all ages who have a strong interest in their community. It is, after all, the citizens who know their neighbourhood best. The months since March 2020 sometimes feel like years, so much has changed. It has been a truly unusual year. But, as we move forward and get past this strange time, it is my hope that residents, both young and old, continue to be involved in their neighbourhood. We all hope for a happier, healthier New Year.

Home the video During the COVID-19 lockdown local musician Karen Fowlie and photographer Chris Adshead collaborated to create a video celebrating Horseshoe Bay’s changing face over the past one hundred years. The title is, Home: A Tribute to Horseshoe Bay - Then and Now You can find it by doing a YouTube search for Karen Fowlie or Chris Adshead Photography. Horseshoe Bay 1983


Karen, on the dock of the bay

January/February 2021



Tributes to Brenda Continued from page 9

we were kids are still her very close friends and she is constantly making new friends. Growing up, my mum always ensured that we had highly enriched experiences, including educational programs, but also a fun apprenticeship type lifestyle, where we were often involved in what she was working on. She shared with us what she was doing (where appropriate) and we worked as a family team at every opportunity. Her grandchildren have also had incredibly enriching times at my parents’ home, with my parents working together to give them the best of everything. Art easels and paints set up across the lawn for each of the kids (then framing and displaying their artwork), wonderful nutritious meals they look forward to, amazing water craft

The Broughton family, 1996.

experiences, interactions with nature trails, beaches, and the list goes on. My mum is highly committed to our family and always looks for the opportunities in any given situation. She works with everyone’s schedules to “make things happen,” and treasures her role as a grandparent as much or more than any of her previously much loved roles. My mum puts her whole heart and all of her energy into everything she does. She contributes generously and passionately to the community without feeling like she is “being generous.” She loves being part of her community and giving to her community, and bringing people together. She is multitalented, energetic and values driven... an inspiration to those around her. I’m very proud to call her my mum.” Brenda reveals that her father wrote in her autograph book when she was little,

“Happy effort makes a full life.” The efforts are evident from her extraordinarily full life. Spending time with Brenda, with her ready smile and zestful laughter, is a happy experience. At our first meeting, on her Lions Bay patio overlooking the beach and beautiful Howe Sound, she described a scene from the previous June: high school sweethearts Brenda and Michael Broughton celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They were surprisingly regaled by friends, neighbours and family with a sail pass. Boats and watercraft of all sizes and types, from paddle boarders to sailboats and yachts sailed by in tribute during COVID-19. Sister, Diana, comments with admiration: “A fitting and deserving tribute to an amazing couple whose personal and public accomplishments are testimony to their blended personalities and harmonious relationship.”

The Village of Lions Bay expressed its appreciation and respect for its five-term mayor in 2016 when the village hall was named Broughton Hall. Recognition, indeed, for a life spent being ready, willing and able to serve.

Photo provided

Brenda and Michael’s fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Photo provided

Brenda and Michael Broughton, June 27, 1970.

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January/February 2021


Is your family stuck in a destructive triangle? Ian Macpherson


ara has always appreciated the strengths of her husband, Jason. But she has also resigned herself to living with some of what she views as his less-positive characteristics. For the first few years of their relationship, Sara was frustrated by his stubborn, selfish ways. Nonetheless, she compromised and the couple settled into a more or less mu-

tually accepting relationship. But Sara’s discontent did not disappear. Sometimes, distraction through an affair, the golf course, work or some other activity or substance can create a triangle between couples. These triangles are attempts to save their relationship while coping with lost hope about their partner. The triangulation with Sara and Jason took a different, but common, form – with a child. Max, their son, became the third person in his parents’ relationship triangle. While empathy and understanding between parent and child are good, it crosses the line into problem territory when the at-

tachment need of the parent is displaced from the adult partner. This creates a role reversal forcing the child to take on responsibility for the parent’s happiness. By the time he reached his teens, Max was becoming angry and unhappy. His parents argued about how to manage his resistance, especially to Jason’s authority. Sara tended to be more protective toward her ally Max, undermining her husband’s attempts at discipline. Tension escalated and everyone became more miserable. Sara’s lack of assertiveness and Jason’s lack of attunement played out in a family drama that designated Max as the problem. The fo-

cus needed to be shifted from Max back to the parents’ conflict and from there to the problem of neglected and hidden underlying emotional needs which had affected all. Eventually, Sara and Jason drew closer together and Max’s disturbance began to give way to an improved sense of safety and selfdetermination. Our attachment needs organize our family dynamics. Support of these needs prevents the formation of destructive triangles. Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in West Vancouver. More at www.westvancouvertherapist.com

Effective communication can be learned BY

Rev Alecia Greenfield


orking at St. Francis-in-the-Wood requires constant communication. This makes for plenty of opportunity for miscommunication, which I seem to have managed – mostly – to avoid. So I’ve been thinking about how we learn to communicate. It starts, like many things, with our family of origin. More than 30 years ago, my dad, John Paget, offered to send me to the Justice Institute’s basic conflict resolution course (now the Foundations of Conflict Resolution). No, we were not in conflict at the time. I happened to be free, so off I went. It became the week that started a lifelong interest in effective communication.

Here are the lessons I still use just about every day (thanks Dad). It amazes me how many times a single word can change the meaning. When I use the word but I negate everything I said before. For example, when I tell my son that I love him, but he has to start putting his dishes in the dishwasher, I just negated my love. Not at all what I intended. Noticing what we do with our bodies is another way to make small adjustments with big impact. I might tell someone I can wait, but my body says I am angry and frustrated by waiting. I have learned to listen to my body and admit I am not willing to wait and offer alternative solutions, like coming back later. Or, to align my body with my words and demonstrate willing waiting.


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Mostly, I learned about listening. I truly cannot multitask (and if you look at the neuroscience research, chances are, neither can you). If I am listening, I can only listen. By summarizing what someone else is saying, I can ensure I understand what is being said. It shocks me how often I am wrong. Recently, we have witnessed examples of ineffective communication daily through media reports on provincial elections, a US election, through race riots, climate protests and coronavirus regulations. It is time to address the underlying inequities in the world. But conflicting beliefs are so often communicated in hurtful ways, and this merely results in defensiveness and shutting down. This is not productive. Little shifts in how we communicate with our words, with our bodies, and how we listen

can be a starting place. We need to start with our most basic habits of listening and speaking. Then with improved communication skills, we can take on the very complex issues in our community. Here are a few steps to start putting this into practice: Listen to one person (not a news feed, an actual human). Listen only to understand what they think and why. Do not listen to resolve conflict or change them. Don’t share your opinion. Then summarize what you hear, focusing on how they made sense. Ask questions if you do not understand the meaning of something. Not to argue your point, only to gain understanding. Communication can be challenging, but when done effectively, I believe it can be world changing.

West Vancouver Presbyterian Church SERVICE

check website for details

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January/February 2021


A time for giving BY

Lindy Pfeil


ot too long ago, 10-year-old Caulfeild resident, Jonathan ‘Bear’ Yeung and his 18-year-old friend, Landon Brown, learned that the kids at BC Children’s Hospital were feeling increasingly isolated because of severe visiting restrictions. Due to COVID-19, children were only permitted to have one caregiver. So, during November and December, Bear and Landon worked tirelessly to change this. The two boys collected as many iPad and other electronic tablets as possible to help the kids stay connected with their family and friends. Bear says: “We want to help BC Children’s Hospital get Christmas gifts to kids staying in the hospital over the holidays. We think all of these kids are very brave, but we learned they want to stay connected with loved ones. That’s why we’ve been wanting to get them tablets, and also quality toys. Toys are awesome and

fun to play with but we are also focused on getting lots of tablets because they will help kids stay connected with the people they love. They can also watch videos, read stories and play games on their tablets. They are also helpful for their schoolwork.” Bear and Landon managed to secure 159 tablets and over 1,000 toy items along with $13,000 worth of donations. They received generous support from the community, including LEGO, Canadian Tire, Rogers and LG. They partnered with Dreams on Wheels and with Porsche Club of America Canada West to provide zero-contact drop off of the toys and tablets at BC Children’s Hospital. The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation posted this message on their Instagram account: “Thank-you, Bear and Landon, for your indescribable care, creativity and leadership. Your actions truly demonstrate that no one is ever too young to make a real difference in the lives of others.” We, at the Beacon, echo these sentiments: thank-you Bear and Landon for making us proud.

Bear and Landon with some of the toys collected for the kids spending Christmas at BC Children’s Hospital.

Bear and Landon delivering toys to BC Children’s Hospital in December.

Some of the more than 1000 toy items collected.

Photos: Joseph Savier

CORRECTION NOTICE In the November/December 2020 edition of the Beacon, the second paragraph on page 12 mentioned the M Creek bridge. This was incorrect. It should have said Logger’s Creek bridge.

Vision plays an important role in every aspect of our lives. Our vision allows us to experience the world to its fullest. A complete eye examination checks your overall eye health, measures changes to vision and develops a plan to enhance and maintain your eye sight. Book your eye health and vision examination at IRIS today.

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January/February 2021


Deep water dilemma


hen West Vancouver’s Community Center reopened their Aqua Fit program after a six-month shutdown, Aqua Fitters were overjoyed! Some of us have been doing this for over fifteen years. I couldn’t wait to get back. My bubble soon burst. I hadn’t expected to return to the Glory Days when 32 of us danced like a well-trained Esther Williams swim troupe, to Country Rock and Bollywood tunes. (It throws everyone off if you go against the flow.) I expected to compete for one of only ten water slots per session. What I hadn’t appreciated was that changing rooms and bathrooms were also in lockdown. And no cheating by changing on the deck! We were to arrive, dressed in bathing suits, pool shoes and bathrobes. The robes we would

wrap around our wet bodies to go home. Already, Aquafit Moderate was filled by classmates who were quicker off the mark than I. But the lure of company and exercise persuaded me to try the more demanding Aquafit Deep. “Time to go deeper,” I encouraged myself, and signed up. Things got off to a bad start. Arriving five minutes late, I learned that the group had already been shepherded to the pool. I hustled after them, but was bewildered by the maze of ropes and barriers erected to move people along mysterious paths to the few unlocked doors that finally open to destinations you once reached in seconds. I persevered. After several false starts where I found myself, first at the Café, then outside by the fountain, then at the wrong end

of the Big Pool, I finally arrived at the Deep Pool. The class was already deeply engrossed. I made things worse by needing help to cinch myself into a water belt whose circumference would have sustained a drowning elephant. And to get into the water, using a ladder. No cannonballs, please! Once in, I tried to become invisible. The new routines were reassuringly simple. Mostly churning back and forth across the pool without setting foot on the bottom for 60 minutes. Have you tried treading water for an hour recently? It was one of the longest hours of my life. I tried not to feel hostile when seasoned Deep-Water Walkers, all in my age bracket, surged past me without a backward glance. Showoffs! Finally, it stopped.

We clambered up the ladders to the pool deck, and then the real fun began. We pulled on our bathrobes, using them as bathmats to sop up the cold water streaming down our bodies. We exited the pool through a door opening onto 22nd street, and walked a block to the parking lot in front of the Atrium, where I was parked. Of course. If it was this cold then, what will it be when the snow flies? Will I keep it up? Maybe. I love the Aquatic Center and its instructors. But I miss the changing rooms and bathroom. What are we supposed to do? Pee in the pool? Catch pneumonia? But I won’t lose hope! This won’t keep up forever. Right?


Don’t overlook your Power of Attorney Michael Berton


o you have a valid Power of Attorney (POA)? I was recently pressed into service by my family to assist an aging aunt who had lost competence. No POA was located,

so no-one was able to assist with her finances as her care expenses escalated and bills poured in. She also did not have a Representation Agreement that would appoint a representative to manage her healthcare. Once a person is deemed incompetent, they can no longer grant authority to others to manage their affairs. There is a solution, however. Provincial legislation provides formal procedures to allow another person, or the state, to assume the adult’s affairs and act on their behalf. If not applied for by The Public Guardian and

Trustee, someone (usually a family member) can apply to the Supreme Court to be appointed private committee (guardian) under the Patients Property Act. There are two types of Private Committees: Committee of the Estate (finances/property/legal) and/or Committee of the Person (personal care/medical care/end of life matters). In my aunt’s case the application took five months to work its way along. The law requires affidavits from all siblings and their children to approve the proposed representatives. At con-

siderable delay and legal expense, we secured legal representatives for her affairs. This would not have been necessary if she had drafted a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement when she was well. If you don’t have such documents, do your family a great service by attending to these now. If you have these, review them to ensure they continue to represent your wishes. Michael Berton is a Senior Financial Planner with Assante Financial Management Ltd. mberton@assante.com

the penny mitchell group

January/February 2021


Teens to Seniors Art Society, T2SA, thanks you T o our friends, donors and volunteers we just wanted to send out a big thank you to everyone who has supported us through 2020, whether it was through volunteering, buying donuts, making a donation, or just staying up to date! We accomplished so much since starting our Craft Kits Project in May of this year, so here’s a recap of our 2020 stats! • Sent 600 craft kits to 9 different senior homes across Metro Vancouver (North Van, West Van, Vancouver and Burnaby) • Held our first annual card design contest • Sent about 200 cards for our Cards for Compassion project (C4C), both handmade and from our Christmas Card Design Contest • Had our story shared in the North Shore News and West Vancouver Beacon

• Held 2 fundraisers

• Raised over $3000 from fundraisers and donations • Recruited a whole new executive team of 6 incredible members • Started a T2SA Club at Sentinel Secondary/ West Vancouver Secondary School with almost 60 members • Hit 100 posts on our Instagram

THANK YOU, EVERYONE! From The T2SA Team t2sa.org

Donations and volunteers are always needed and appreciated to maintain the T2SA programs. Please check the website for details: T2SA.ORG 519 HARRY ROAD

Photo provided Stephanie Lieu delivering volunteer assembled crafts kits to a senior residence.

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Sunshine Coast | 3,069 Sqft, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms

Sunshine Coast | 4,016 Sqft, 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms

Stunning and bright mountain 2.53 view acreage, on the outskirts of Gibsons showcases a beautiful and unique Viceroy home. Upstairs is 2 beds and 2 baths with huge picture windows, rock fireplace, hardwood floors, and spacious loft overlooking the living room. Downstairs is a 1 bed 1 bath self-contained in law suite or great income helper. This property also features a 1 bed 1 bath 2 year old fully contained 598 sqft separate cottage with private driveway and storage shed. Enjoy the outdoor hot-tub. The 3 car carport is ready to be converted into a garage.

Stunning character home in Bonniebrook. On a half acre that is ideal for multi family living this 4000 sq ft home has energy efficient features with a natural gas hot water system, infloor heat, appliances, fireplace, hot water on demand and a heat pump. Spacious 3/4 bedrooms with balconies in the main house and an open concept kitchen, living and dining room that is complimented by a 1000sqft concrete patio. Adjacent to the home is a self-contained 1000sqft guest suite with it’s own tandem garage.

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www.kristadempster.com / Facebook / Instagram


January/February 2021


I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to my clients and friends who have supported me throughout the past year. It has been a year like no other and I have felt privileged to serve you.



As we enter 2021 with apprehension we can only HOPE for a careful return to life as it was prior to the pandemic.

I wish you a safe, healthy, happy New Year - Franco


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Macdonald Realty Ltd. This communication is not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement.