West Vancouver Beacon | January/February 2022 | Edition 48

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THE No. 48

BEACON Shedding light on the communities from Lions Bay to Dundarave

January/February 2022

As a result of the recent flooding in BC, our usual high-quality gloss paper is unavailable for this edition of the Beacon. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the floods.

Sea Search and Rescue
















Photo: Boudewijn Neijens

An RCMSAR rescue boat and crew leave Horseshoe Bay.


olunteer marine search and rescue has been part of our community for more than 30 years, a reflection of the importance of boating to the area, both commercial and recreational. The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM SAR, formerly the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary) Station 1, is based at the Horseshoe Bay pier, and has been there from the beginning. It is the busiest of the 40 plus RCMSAR stations around the BC coast having responded to 79 marine emergencies and spent 570 hours on the water responding to emergencies or training crews in a single year. The 40 members of Station1, all living within 15 minutes of Horseshoe Bay, continuously train to hone emergency response skills. They are Transport Canada qualified including being certified in Electronic Navigation that allows them to navigate our waters in restricted visibility.

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January/February 2022


No more New Year’s resolutions

Chris Stringer Publisher

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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 Dundarave. 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.


spend Saturdays with 50 teenagers who have come to the North Shore from all over the world. Far from family and all things familiar, they are making their way in a new city with unfamiliar food, sometimesstrange customs and ongoing social isolation imposed by a pandemic. Because I am – in theory – teaching psychology, we spend our mornings critically examining human nature through the lens of different psychological perspectives: psychodynamic, biological, humanistic, cognitive and socio-cultural. Then we throw away the theories and talk about real life. Because context is key. We question everything. Everything. How does the country of our birth, our family and past experience contribute to our values and beliefs? And to the biases and assumptions we inevitably form of others and our world. What are some of the judgements others have made about us, based on our appearance, our language and our culture? What makes us anxious? Angry? Happy? What happens – in our bodies and minds – when we feel frustrated? Sad? Peaceful? Do we believe in free will or destiny? Nature or nurture? What untranslatable words and phrases exist in the language of our birth? How do we bridge the divide this creates? Where do we feel we most belong? We try to ask these questions with “beginner’s mind,” where the possibilities are endless. As opposed to “expert mind,” that thinks it already knows all the answers, leav-

whether family or friends are more important. And what, exactly, is family? Who gets to define it? And is blood really thicker than water? And then, the young man sitting next to me in the circle, quietly gifted the world hope. He, like many of the other students, cannot return home for the holidays because of the continuing pandemic. And yet, in spite of this, their joy, kindness and humour are undiminished. They engage in difficult conversa- Rainer Maria Rilke tions. They listen to others’ opinions respectfully, with genuine curiosity, ply a chemical reaction. But continuing to regardless of how far removed they are from love is a choice. One we make over and over. their own. They are unafraid of conflict, And how do we navigate falling out of love, stepping into it with courage and compascame the question, while still caring about sion. They generously share their insights, someone? How do we acknowledge our own frustrations and wishes with each other. And emotions, needs and rights in a relationship, with me. while simultaneously respecting and valuing There have been many days, this past those of another person? year, when I have been overwhelmed at what One student wanted to give the world the the world has become. I despair that my knowledge of the truth of religion. But what, generation and those before mine, have, in someone else asked, is the truth? Why do the name of progress (and religion, and even we believe – or not – in God, gods, higher love), created a world of division, warfare powers, something bigger than our mortal and environmental havoc. And I don’t see selves? How do these beliefs become the any way out of it. “moral compass” for so many of our deciExcept for these young people. sions and actions? And excuses for atrocities I am making no resolutions this year. I committed in their name? How do the un- plan only to spend the year cultivating bederlying spiritual values of selflessness, com- ginner’s mind. To look at the world through passion and “doing unto others” become lost new eyes. Every day. To make space for new or twisted, simply creating deeper divisions realities. New stories. Possibility. Hope. between humankind? I wish you the same. There was the gift of time with family. Which led to a heated discussion about

ing no space to rewrite the stories we have been telling ourselves about the world and our place in it. Just before winter break, I asked the students what gifts they would like to give to the world. The gift of love came up early in our conversation. How falling in love is perhaps sim-

“Resolve to be always beginning - to be a beginner.”

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January/February 2022


100 years of Girl Guides in West Vancouver BY

Daphne Hales


o you know what fun it is to pull long strands of ivy off trees, or to swing on them? Local Girl Guides do! Mind you, more than simply providing fun, clearing invasive English ivy from a stand of native cedars, firs and alders, allows the trees to grow more easily. The girls also pulled out the ivy spreading over a large area behind the children’s playground in Whytecliff Park. This was all part of a service to the community in honour of the Girl Guides’ 100th anniversary in West Vancouver. Under ‘normal’ circumstances, celebrations would have included a large camp, and exciting wilderness hikes, kayak trips, even travels abroad – but COVID-19 put paid to all that. Instead, the guides have been meeting on Zoom and achieving a lot in their own backyards. Masked and distanced, the older girls spent three happy meetings at Whytecliff Park, filling 25 huge bags with pulled ivy. On Saturday, November 6, the younger girls – Sparks, Brownies and Guides – joined the Pathfinders and Rangers to replant the cleared ground with native species: salal, Oregon grape, huckleberry, snowberry and sword ferns. They showed off some of the skills they learn in guides: teamwork in their assembly line of filling buckets with soil and carting them off to each new hole; leadership, as the Rangers helped the little Sparks; and citizenship as they all helped to restore a community park. The West Vancouver Memorial Library put on a wonderful Girl Guide display all summer and, together with the West Vancouver Historical Society, hosted a Local Voices talk on the Girl Guides’ history here. The Parks De-

partment selected an area which needed our help, and Tiffany Bentley, Parks Coordinator, was an energetic and cheerful motivator on the day. Elspeth Bradbury, retired landscape architect and longtime writer for The Beacon, helped to select suitable native plants for the area and laid them out ahead of time in the correct locations. The Lighthouse Park Preservation Society (LPPS) lent spades, mattocks and trowels galore, and on the day Areta Sanders, LPPS member, came along to show the girls how to de-pot and plant properly. The West Vancouver Foundation provided a much-appreciated grant to help purchase the plants. The rain poured, but there wasn’t a single complaint from the girls who worked away, chattering and laughing. When they weren’t planting, they played games organized by the Pathfinders. And once the planting was done, hot chocolate and cupcakes were served. The girls had painted 100 wooden medallions, in celebration of this 100th year, which were hung around the perimeter of the shelter. As the wind became stronger, they fluttered about, adding colour to the occasion. These medallions will end up adorning a trail somewhere in West Vancouver – watch out for them! The last Brownie to leave, covered from toes to tummy in mud, gave a beaming smile through a rim of chocolate icing – happiness personified! Everyone got home minutes before thunder, lightning, hail and the tail end of a tornado. The plants are nicely surviving the endless rain and will be a permanent reminder that Girl Guides too are thriving in our community. Daphne Hales is the Girl Guide leader and chair of the Phyl Munday Girl Guide Nature House in Lighthouse Park.

Photo provided After the planting it was time for cupcakes and hot chocolate. Some of the 100 painted medallions can be seen swinging overhead.

Photo provided

Pathfinders pulling out ivy.

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January/February 2022



A lion called Morris


ears ago, in a zoo whose name I’ve forgotten, there lived a pride of lionesses. Their previous, superannuated mate had died. The zoo, wishing to promote their happiness and to grow the lion population, played Cupid. The keepers introduced a series of young males into the lion enclosure, hoping to entice the grieving widows. The females would have none of them. One by one, the candidates were rejected. Not just rejected, but attacked. Routed. Suitors had to be rescued, tails between their legs. If they still had tails. The ladies appeared to have gone rogue. They seemed impervious to the call of Eros. Having exhausted all likely candidates, the zoo finally dumped Morris, a trembly old

lion, long past his prime, into the Lion’s Den. The lionesses prowled round Morris. They sniffed at his scruffy pelt, his thinning mane, his spindly shanks. They examined his shrunken assets. The old lion endured their scrutiny patiently. He didn’t seem to notice them. He showed neither interest nor fear. The lionesses were electrified by his indifference and humble demeanor. Over the following weeks, they competed to care for him. They brought him the tenderest morsels from their daily meat dump. Nuzzled and groomed him like a baby. They walked him round the enclosure, bracing him between their bodies, so he wouldn’t topple over. Kept his strength up. In due course, the

inevitable happened. One by one, the former misandrists all fell pregnant. How did he manage? We’ll never know! But with a little help from his harem, the enclosure was soon blessed with the patter of lion cub feet. I seem to recall that the zoo shared the wealth with other zoos whose mating programs had not prospered. Inevitably, the day came when Morris passed on to the great Serengeti Plains in the sky. After all, he’d been on his last legs when he arrived. He died a happy lion, surrounded by adoring family.


What was his secret? I have no idea. The maternal instinct? I just know that, given the choice between a roaring, egotistical young buck, and a smooth, old operator, the felines chose the one who needed them. Who appreciated everything they had to offer. Women are like that. Old lions, take heart. There’s hope.


Preparing for a new year


have always appreciated January as a calm month when one can review the current family situation and adjust plans for the new year. First of all, it’s a good idea to figure out where you are right now by calculating your net worth. Simply add up all your assets and then subtract all your debts at the end of the year. The resulting net total indicates the level of your financial health. If you do this every year, you can compare progress, or regress,

over the years. With your current position in mind, you can review and update your short and longterm financial goals. The more specific and time based, the better. This may provide insight and suggest changes to your current practice. Carefully review year-end investment statements and compare them to past statements. Perhaps it is time to rebalance the portfolio or other changes. Are your retirement savings plans and pensions on track to meet

your retirement goals? Now that it is 2022, you can likely add to your RRSP and TFSA. Look through any mortgages and lines of credit to see if there are opportunities to reduce them. Interest rates won’t always be so low. Consumer debt, like credit cards, should be the first to go. Once a year you should also review your life and living benefit insurance policies. Will they still meet your needs in a crisis? Property and condo policies can also be reviewed.


Start organizing your 2021 income tax file. Create a folder to collect statements and tax slips as they arrive. Include receipts for allowable medical expenses, office expenses, rental property expenses, etc. This will put you in good stead for tax season. The most basic review of your financial position in January will help you confidently move forward into the coming year. Michael Berton is a retired senior financial planner. mberton@shaw.ca


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January/February 2022


The gift of the Colin Ruloff Community Field House BY


Julia McCaig

he future Community Field House at Island Pacific School will be dedicated to the memory of Colin Ruloff, Island Pacific School alumni class of 2010. Colin was raised on Bowen Island where he lived with his parents, Walt and Laura, and three younger brothers, Chad, Andrew and Charlie. Colin loved music. He composed original songs and performed as a Country Blues singer and guitar player under the name Scottie Collins. His early work can be found on SoundCloud under Colin Ruloff Country Singer. He was gentle, kind and able to see good and admirable qualities in everyone he met. Colin passed away in 2018 and he is greatly missed. The Colin Ruloff Community Field House will be on property shared by Island Pacific School and Cates Hill Chapel. This covered outdoor space provides much needed sheltered space for student activities and for chapel events. And the possibilities are endless in terms of broader community use — weddings, outdoor concerts, workshops and outdoor recreation. “Cates Hill Chapel is pleased to partner with Island Pacific School in their efforts to build a Community Field House,” says Phil Adkins, pastor of Cates Hill Chapel. “Our two institutions have a great relationship that goes well beyond our shared use of space. We are grateful that IPS will be naming this structure in honour of Colin Ruloff. The Ruloff family is loved by both of our communities and

the chapel will be blessed by having such a wonderful person acknowledged in this lasting and meaningful gesture.” A small independent school, by definition, always relies on the generosity of its families. The philanthropic heart of one particular Bowen family enabled the realization of Island Pacific School: Walt and Laura Ruloff and their Smooth Stones Foundation. At the recent Monsoon Madness Mudder event over $100,000 was raised to begin building this outdoor space.

Photo courtesy of: Denise Phillipe Scott Herrington, Head of School, helps IPS students make cards for flood relief victims, sending them messages of hope and support.

Artist impression of the Colin Ruloff Community Field House.

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January/February 2022




Local artists turn trash into treasure

ave you ever encountered a piece of plastic at one of our beaches – perhaps a bottle, wrapper, or grocery bag - and wondered if anything is being done about the problem? Here in the Lower Mainland, our oceans and lakes are diligently cared for by diver Henry Wang and his team of volunteers at the Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans. To date, the team has conducted over 150 cleanup dives and has collected nearly 40,000 pounds of trash. “Our waterways are precious, and every pollutant that goes into our water has the potential to cause problems,” says Henry. Diving In: The Art of Cleaning Lakes and Oceans is a collaboration between Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans and Return-

it, a 26-year-old province-wide recycling service. They have teamed up with eleven local artists to transform the tragedy of polluted oceans into an artistic smorgasbord. The products will be shared with arts councils throughout the province. On December 11, I attended the initiative’s kickoff event, Trash to Treasure: Artist Materials Unveiling, at the Cheakamus Center in Brackendale, Squamish. Notable speakers included Mayor Karen Elliot of Squamish, and West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country MP, Patrick Weiler. The event was opened by Out East, an indie band originally from Newfoundland and Labrador. And Squamish singer Roxy Lewis performed a traditional Skwxu7mesh song.

Artists browse additional materials provided for their pieces.

Photo: courtesy of John Lau


The project’s eleven artists were then given their outlandish materials, collected by Wang and his team over the course of 57 dives and 131 hours. These included goggles, lipstick tubes, vapes, sunglasses, and lighters. For West Vancouver residents, our local Return-it Express-andGo is stationed near Home Sense at Park Royal. It is the second largest collector in the province, and for good reason: recycling simply doesn’t get easier than Return-it Express-and-Go. The program was launched in late 2019, and over the last two years its subscriber base has grown from 20,000 to nearly 190,000. The process is simple: create an online account, bring beverage containers to the local kiosk in clear plastic bags (no sorting needed!), enter the number of bags into the kiosk, print stickers and attach to each bag, then drop the bags in the designated area and check the online account for monetary return to be added. It couldn’t be easier. Money from an Express-and-Go account can be redeemed at any time. Return-it CEO, Allen Langdon is ecstatic to be part of the Diving In initiative, which he discovered by following Henry Wang on Facebook. “It was just a no-brainer. Helping facilitate the removal of material from our lakes and waterways totally makes sense,” he explains. “The ability to turn that into an art project that can be used to help educate a wide range of people …. on what happens

Photo: courtesy of John Lau Roxy Lewis opens the event with drumming and song.

and what takes place, and maybe to rethink their patterns of behaviour, was such an easy opportunity.” The premiere dates for the art installations are to be determined, but the initiative is hosting multiple community cleanups from now until July for all those who wish to get involved. Information about these cleanups can be found at divinginbc.com/ events. Rose Lepin is in grade 12 at WVSS. Rose adores telling community stories and spends her free time singing in the District Honour Choir, taking excessive photos of her cat, and performing her duties as the reigning Miss Teen Greater Vancouver and Miss Teen Personality BC.

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January/February 2022


Inaugural Climate Writer in Residence BY


Sarah Barton-Bridges

he West Vancouver Memorial Library has appointed Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty as its first Climate Writer in Residence. The hire is part of the Library’s Climate Future initiative, which seeks to engage the West Vancouver community (and beyond) around the climate crisis. Lafferty will hold the position from January 3 to April 15, 2022. Lafferty is a northern Dene novelist from the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. Her 2018 memoir Northern Wildflower (Fernwood/Roseway Publishing) was the top-selling book in the Northwest Territories upon release and is used as a teaching tool in Indigenous literary studies across Turtle Island. Her recently released novel Land-Water-Sky/Ndè-Ti-Yat’a (Fernwood/ Roseway Publishing) was placed on the Scotiabank Giller Prize Craving Canlit list and was nominated for an Indigenous Voices Award. Having grown up in Somba K’e (Yel-

lowknife), Lafferty currently splits her time between her northern homeland and the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples in Esquimalt, British Columbia, where she is in her third year of the Juris Doctor in Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders with the University of Victoria. As the Climate Writer in Residence, Lafferty will give voice to the climate emergency with an Indigenous perspective, both through her writing and through planning events and workshops for library patrons, including youth and seniors. The remainder of her time in the residency will be spent working on her own writing project. Lafferty said, “My vision for engaging the community during the residence at the library will be to start by hosting open and interactive sharing circles with members of West Vancouver’s community, including different spaces for youth and seniors to gather input on what they hope to learn from me during the residency.” Lafferty’s introductory event will be held on Saturday, January 22, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Zoom

and will include a traditional welcome, a moderated Q&A, and a reading. WVML’s Head of Customer and Community Experience Tara Matsuzaki said, “We are looking forward to furthering our

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library’s work around the climate emergency with Catherine’s expertise and take it to the next level. Given the recent extreme weather events we’ve been seeing, this work feels more important than ever.”

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January/February 2022


A passion for life - the Granthams PETER

Dr. Peter Grantham’s lifelong passion for medicine began as a youth. At Lord Byng he distinguished himself academically as the editor of the annual and by getting the second highest marks in the

Peter, BC Reps vs All Japan XV at Brockton in 1961. Photo provided

province in grade 12. This earned him a scholarship that paid his way through university. It was also at Byng that he was introduced to another passion: rugby. In his second year at UBC he made the first team, the Thunderbirds. UBC didn’t establish a medical faculty until 1950 so, when Peter graduated from high school, he studied life sciences. When he was ready to study medicine, the UBC medical school had just graduated its first class. As a student, Peter worked summers, weekends and holidays on the water. He tied logs together while running around on booms. He was a deckhand on tow boats and train car barges, and able seaman on a private cruise ship. The Royal Canadian Navy offered young university men naval training in a reserve officer program and Peter found he valued discipline and study. Between studying, working and playing elite level rugby, Peter still managed an active social life. His reputation preceded him when he entered medical school, where senior professors advised him to discontinue rugby and his social life or he would have difficulty getting an MD. Peter changed

Peter with students of the first class of the new medical school in the UAE, 1992

Photo provided

nothing and finished in the top 10 percent of his class. Life as a general practitioner was appealing so in 1959, at age 27, Dr. Grantham opened his street front family practice in Vancouver. “If you’re bright, prepared to work hard, use your brain, accept the challenges and take risks, then you might make it as a GP,” he advises trainees. “To me being a GP has always been the toughest type of practice for any doctor.” Rugby, “a game for thugs, played by gentlemen,” played a large part in Peter’s life. He was good at it and after playing for UBC, he played for the Meralomas. He was selected for various BC rep teams, touring Japan and the UK and hosting top international teams locally. A career highlight was scoring the winning try against the 1966 touring British Lions. Canada had no national team at the time, so rugby was a regional sport, mostly played in BC. When the national team was formed, Peter became its doctor and travelled with the team. Peter married Mary, his first wife, in 1957, while he was interning at St Paul’s. Within five years Barb and Rob were born. Peter says his immaturity, combined with the responsibilities of a medical practice and a young family, all contributed to the failure of this marriage. In 1964, he married Vivian, a widely respected nurse, who gave birth to Ian in 1968. When Mary died suddenly in 1974 Peter and Vivian took custody of Barb and Rob who were young teenagers. Tragically, Vivian died suddenly of an aneurysm at age 59. Peter remained a widower until 1999 when he married Wendy, his medical office assistant for more than 20 years. During Dr. Peter Grantham’s iconic medical career, he served as the first Royal Canadian Legion Professor and head of UBC’s Department of Family Medicine. He helped to establish the university’s Allan McGavin Sports Medicine clinic while maintaining his private full-service family practice. In 1988 he was appointed foundation professor of family practice at a new national medical school in the United Arab Emir-

ates. He had two culturally rich and challenging years in the UAE. On his return to UBC he became departmental director of undergraduate education. When he retired from the university at age 65, he was able to continue his practice in uniIan and Peter versity space. Eventually Peter became house physician at Broadway Lodge and Point Grey Private Hospitals, caring for nursing home patients until his actual working retirement at age 85. Recognition has come in many forms over the years. Among them, international visiting professorships, life memberships in the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Canadian College of Family Practice, and a Canadian Medical Association senior membership. However, Peter claims, “the best perk that came from devoting half my life to academia, came from UBC. It’s a parking pass. I have a suction cup that sticks on the windshield of my car that allows me to park in any faculty lot any time I want.” Unquestionably, the pride and joy of Peter’s life are his 3 children and 8 grandchildren. He considers himself lucky to have had a full and meaningful professional and personal life. He grew up during the post WWII economic boom. He played rugby in a golden age, when several outstanding team players developed in BC. He entered medical practice in an era where newly evolving technology, medications and knowledge gave his cohort of physicians really useful work to do before the current trend to electronification, artificial intelligence, virtualization, robotization and depersonalization came along to alter the medical professional environment. Peter credits his time on the towboats for teaching him that “if you try to get along with folks, do your job and show up on time you’ve got a good chance of succeeding at most of what comes your way.”

January/February 2022


COMMUNITY PERSONALITY “My father is passionate. I’m fanatical.” Ian Grantham, December 9, 2021. Ian Grantham, Peter’s youngest son, is the 2021 recipient of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Exemplary Service Medal, in recognition of his volunteer services as a member of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue operation in Horseshoe Bay. “RCMSAR volunteers face the Grantham unenviable risks associated with operation of rescue vessels under many adverse conditions,” says Dr. Mahmoud Saidi, in a tribute to Ian. “Few in the RCMSAR organization are advanced to the rank of coxswain and yet fewer are chosen by their crew mates to lead them as a station. Ian Grantham has achieved all of these and even more. Not only has Ian been leading us, he has worked at the regional level with our colleagues from many other stations to share knowledge and leadership for betterment of all SAR units.” He continues: “Ian

is a true enthusiast, enormously capable in technical aspects of the job, in leading crew and in maintaining a joyful, safe and energetic work environment.” In 2017, there was considerable local and national media coverage of the heroic RCMSAR crew that rescued a woman who had jumped from a BC ferry during the night. Ian and the four-person crew rescued the woman from the frigid Pacific waters between Vancouver Island and Horseshoe Bay. When not volunteering, Ian works for the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, responding to the mitigation of oil spills on Canada’s west coast. As the company’s senior training specialist, he and his team travel to each of the nine WCMRC response stations on the coast and Vancouver Island. Living in Horseshoe Bay allows him to commute to work by ferry and access his RCMSAR hobby at Station 1 at the wharf in the Bay. Ian spent much of his childhood at Grantham’s Landing on the Sunshine Coast. It’s where Grantham family members continue to gather for inspiration and relaxation. It was here that Ian developed his passion for the waters of British Columbia. Founded in 1909 by Peter’s great uncle, Grantham’s Landing grew from the three original cottages to today’s small community. The original wharf, built by the Granthams for their personal boating needs, became a small ferry dock for a period of time. It was near here, while working on his

Peter with his children, Barbara, Rob and Ian, 2007.

Photo provided


docked boat in 2012, that Ian was rocked by the turbulence of a swiftly arriving boat. On emerging from the cabin he saw, for the first time, an RCMSAR vessel. Curiosity lead to further investigation and the rest is history. Ian speaks with great pride of his three children. “They are creating good lives for themselves in the paths they have chosen and I am so very proud of each of them,” says Ian. “Mackenzie, 25, is a youth outreach

worker on the DTES and looking to get into social work. My middle daughter Avery, 22, is graduating from SFU in Criminology and my youngest son Luke, 19, is at Queens University in year two of commerce. They are without a doubt my greatest accomplishment.” Throughout his life, he has had two passions: the water and helping people. Both are met every day by RCMSAR and WCMRC. “Life doesn’t get any better,” says Ian.

Ian with Luke, Avery and Mackenzie.

From L to R: Ian, Peter’s father, Herb, and Peter, circa 1980.

Photo: Chris Stringer

Photo provided



January/February 2022




Are you feeling safe?

espite developments in the arts and sciences of mental health, anxiety, depression, addiction and just about every other type of emotional problem is increasing and the age of onset is dropping. What is going on? Some would say that society is suffering from a decrease in “mental toughness” and there is evidence of an epidemic of declining resilience. A contributing factor may be the growing tendency to protect people from experiencing any kind of stressor or shock. Perhaps helicopter parenting is a manifestation of this. We seem collectively to have the idea that danger is around every corner. But it is normal for young humans to take risks. Exploratory play is marked by taking on challenges. Coping with adversity takes practice. Ev-

ery system that avoids stress – from our immune system to our banking system – grows weaker and is more at risk of failure in the face of a threat. The opposite is also true. A perhaps more-virulent form of safety net is seen in the guardian culture that not

versial statement so that he can report him to the dean of his department. Boris was recently involved in a survey of emotional maturity level among his peers, many of whom echo his “thought police” attitude. The survey indicated that in terms of emotional maturity, the typical 18 year old is now more on the level of the 15 year old only a few years ago. Does this mean we are becoming less capable of coping with everyday trials by training, in place of openness and courage, fear of our own shadows? There is plenty of evidence that the media is partly responsible for stoking our anxiety about the unsafe world. Most people respond with primal emotional reactions, without fact checking. Our decreasing ability to regulate our emotions, declining wellbeing and increas-

“There is plenty of evidence that the media is partly responsible for stoking our anxiety about the unsafe world.” only tries to prevent exposure to stress but also attempts to control the way ideas are expressed. Boris is a college student who seems to be constantly trying to catch his professor off guard and trap him into making a contro-

ing narcissism, are all correlated with our preoccupation with social media. Together with lower empathy, this contributes to our declining emotional resilience. Emotional strength relies on confronting issues that bother us, not trying to squelch them or fill our consciousness with excessive focus on our vulnerabilities. We need to cultivate a culture that helps us fill our sails rather than keep us shorebound with fear and paranoia. Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in West Vancouver. More at www.westvancouvertherapist.com

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January/February 2022





Some things you might not know

id you know that there was once a United Church on the south side of Rosebery, just across from Gleneagles Ch’axáý Elementary School? It occupied the spot where three houses currently stand. The United Church’s history in our area goes back to the 1920s. Prior to the opening of St. Mathew’s United Church in 1957, the congregation had gathered in the Community Hall on Bruce Street. Due to the church having a small congregation and limited finances, in 1973 St. Mathew’s combined with St. Monica’s to serve both groups. However, in November 2013, St. Monica’s held its last Anglican service as they too had a small congregation and limited funds. Much was done to save the St Monica’s building and that is another story, but at the time of writing, the future of that site is unknown. Did you know that in the middle of the south side of the 6300 block of Bruce Street, once stood Horseshoe Bay’s Memorial Community Hall? Opened in the 1940s, it was home to many events. Long before television kept people at home for their entertainment, the hall served as an important social hub for the village. Events included meetings, bingo nights, parties and many different kinds of classes. And the locals learned to dance on its sprung wooden floor. As times changed, the residents’ desire to maintain the hall dropped off, taxes went unpaid and the committee running the hall was overwhelmed. One resident loaned money to pay the back taxes and the building was sold in 1986. It was later redevel-

oped as a duplex. Proceeds went to paying off the tax loan and building the children’s play area in Horseshoe Bay Park. The balance was donated to charities. Did you know that 36 years ago the revitalization of Horseshoe Bay was being carefully planned for the upcoming Expo 86? The village was getting a much-needed upgrade to welcome the expected rush of tourists. Those who remember Expo 86 will know what an amazing event it was, ultimately changing the future of the Vancouver area. Did you know that the West Vancouver Blue Bus system will celebrate a major milestone as it turns 110 years of age in 2022? The service began operating in 1912 and is one of the longest continuously operated municipal bus systems in North America. While it is part of

Photo: Bill McPhee, courtesy of WVML (1027.McP) The West Vancouver Blue Bus depot at the foot of 14th Street in 1981.

the larger TransLink network, the vehicles are still owned and operated by the District Municipality of West Vancouver which also celebrates its 110th birthday this year. And finally, did you know that Keith Road was named after James C. Keith? He was the first Reeve of the District of North Vancouver. In 1892, council undertook the difficult task of building a road from Deep Cove to Eagle Harbour. Keith Road now runs in disjointed sections from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay and, as we contemplate the Spirit Trail across the North Shore, we are reminded that what is old is new again.

Photo: Chris Adshead A new brick sidewalk being installed outside Trolls restaurant in 1986.

Horseshoe Bay’s Memorial Hall on Bruce Street in 1985.

Photo: Chris Adshead

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January/February 2022

Cold shoulders and other turns of phrase BY


Kate Pfeil

he Holiday Season has come and gone. With it, countless dinner parties. Festive soirees. Celebrations and obligations. Something that strikes me every year is how few of us have mastered the art of knowing how, or when, to gracefully exit these social engagements. Or, if you’re the host, knowing how to politely nudge your guests in the direction of the door when it’s time for bed. Personally, I’m a fan of the Irish exit. I’m deeply afraid of being the last person at the party, so I’ll usually feign a trip to the bathroom, book an Uber behind closed doors and head home before I get roped into another round of drinks. Simple, but effective. Our family friend (who I’ll not name to protect his secret) says the same thing every time he’s ready to get going: “Right - I’ve got perishables in the car”. I’d be willing to bet he doesn’t really have a trunk full of raw meat

every time he visits, but I respect his commitment to this one, slightly odd, excuse. This is not a new problem. I recently stumbled upon the origin of the phrase ‘give the cold shoulder’, which beautifully demonstrates the awkward human history of graceful exits: Originating in medieval England, it was customary to give a guest a cold piece of meat from the shoulder of mutton, pork, or beef chop when the host felt it was time for the guest to leave. This was a polite way to communicate, “You may leave, now.” I’ve always found etymology - the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning - fascinating. We say things without thinking. And often, our common phrases have wonderful stories attached to them. Here are five more of my favourites: Turn a blind eye: This expression comes from the naval battle of Copenhagen in

1801, in which British Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was ordered to withdraw from attack but pretended not to see the flagship’s signals telling him to do so by holding his telescope to his blind eye, saying “I do not see the signal”. He attacked anyway and was victorious. Break the ice: Back when road transportation wasn’t developed, ships were the only means of trade. In winter, the ships would often get stuck because of ice formation. The receiving country would send small ships to “break the ice” to clear a way for the trade ships. This gesture showed affiliation and understanding between two territories. Hands down: This expression comes from horse racing, where, if you’re far ahead of everyone else, you can relax your grip on the reins and let your hands down. When you win hands down, you win easily.

“...often, our common phrases have wonderful stories attached to them.”

Bury the hatchet: This one dates back to the early times in North America when the Puritans were in conflict with the Native Americans. When negotiating peace, the Native Americans would bury their hatchets, knives, clubs, and tomahawks. Weapons literally were buried and made inaccessible. Push the envelope: This belongs to the modern era of the airplane. The flight envelope is a term from aeronautics and refers to the boundary or limit of performance of a flight object. The envelope can be described in terms of mathematical curves based on things like speed, thrust, and atmosphere. You push it as far as you can in order to discover what the limits are. Until, that is, you get given the cold shoulder. Kate grew up in Eagle Harbour and now lives in London, England. She was home for Christmas and joined our team of contributors. Thank you, Kate.

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January/February 2022


Back to the future BY

Laura Anderson


t is our habit as humans to look to the future at the turning of the year, trusting that the coming 12 months will be an improvement over the past 12, or 24. Faith in that vision has been tested during the past two COVID-ridden years. Thanks to the people of West Vancouver, producing our society’s first calendar, Local Visions … Inside West Vancouver 2022, justified that faith. True, the project’s challenges caused us to consider an official name change to West Vancouver Hysterical Society. But those challenges were merely part of the production learning curve. Whenever we

sought advice and information, it was given generously. From the call for local photographers that launched the project, to the community organizations, businesses and individuals that helped promote the calendar, the response was consistently supportive and enthusiastic, most notably from the folks at The Beacon. Most gratifying were the messages from the community: “We value West Vancouver’s history. We support the Historical Society’s work to conserve and celebrate our past.” Our focus as a historical society is towards the past. This rear-view perspective helps make sense of the present and guides our path towards the future. WVHS’s first calendar is more than a se-

ries of photographs marking the coming 12 months. These images invite the viewer to reflect on West Vancouver, from Ambleside to Horseshoe Bay, as it was, as it is and as it may become - and on our role in determining our community’s future. Proceeds from sales of Local Visions… Inside West Vancouver 2022 will support the West Vancouver Historical Society’s Heritage Conservation Fund. The fund is dedicated to identifying, conserving and celebrating the local stories, memories and landmarks that define our community and make our corner of the world unique. The Historical Society website, wvhs.ca, provides information on how to obtain the calendar.

Photo provided Charles Mayrs’ A Gift and a Prayer from the Squamish Nation accompanies the month of January in the 2022 WVHS calendar. Sequiliem (Stan Joseph) is the artist and Chiaxsten (Wes Nahanee), the head carver of this Welcome Figure that stands at K’aya’chtn (gathering of ocean canoes), Ambleside, a gift from the Squamish Nation to the people of West Vancouver.

Cold-water junkie BY


Jennifer Hill

live right across from the beach, so I make daily dips in summer and swim indoors in winter. This past October my friend Jen mentioned that all she wanted for her birthday was a cold-dip partner. “Well, that won’t cost too much,” I thought. So I agreed. Her enthusiasm and my ignorance delivered us beachside on the last Friday in October. It was full moon and high tide. Sunshine splashed through the clouds and waves pounded the shore. We carefully picked our way over logs and sticks and found seven or eight other

heads bobbing off Dundarave. Some were in bathing caps and goggles, others in colorful knit toques. Each one was wearing a grin. We nodded hello and asked a few questions: “How long do you stay in?” And, “Do you know the temperature of the water?” It turns out there are no hard and fast rules for swimming in winter. Jen bravely dived in headfirst, wetting her glorious curls. I waded in waist deep and kicked off the bottom towards the end of the dock. The cold stole my breath away. I distracted myself by focusing on what I could see. Pink-edged clouds. The far shores of Spanish Banks. A majestic heron keeping watch. And the bobbing heads of the other swimmers.

As I breathed deeper, the roar in my ears quieted, and I realized some of the swimmers were singing. Cooing, lilting and calling, they encouraged each other through salt splashes and icy lips. They sang joy to the sky, cel Photo provided ebrating life. It felt as though they were callDefrosting at Dundarave: Jennifer and Jen after their icy dip in the Pacific. ing me home. That first swim was magical. chest hits the water as a reminder to those Now nine weeks in, I count the days un- who can hear how happy I am to be swimtil the next swim. I grin when my feet hit ming. To be alive. the frosty sand and I sing and coo when my




January/February 2022



Continents and continents of wine Foodie travel-loving sailors, Tim and Sue live in West Vancouver but are constantly looking for the next “authentic” experience to feed their gastronomic and oenophile aspirations. In other words, they love to eat and drink!

Shiraz Fullglass Wines Skulls 2017 Australia $20.99 HIS: Everyone has a house wine. In our house it’s wines - plural. Skulls is our house red. Yes, it sounds like something that might be served in a motorcycle gang clubhouse. But let me assure you, it is no box wine. An incredibly bold shiraz that tastes of smoky dark fruit with hints of the heavy toasted oak barrels it came from. It can be paired with pasta, red meats, pizza and any day of the week that contains a vowel. HERS: I would suggest that this pairs with anyone who likes to laugh, have fun with their friends or family and has a great sense of style and humour… just like my hubby!

HERS: I have a soft spot for this winery. In 2014, I ran into a lovely lady in Oliver. I had a feeling that I knew her from somewhere but couldn’t quite place it. When I prodded, she ‘fessed up and said she was Miss Canada 1975! The next time you are in the Okanagan, take a trip and meet Terry Lynne Meyer (of the Meyer Family Vineyards). She is the powerhouse behind many successful Canadian businesses such as MAC cosmetics, Anarchist Mountain Vineyards, and is now the President of Mayhem Wines. To enjoy their entire collection, order direct from the winery by 6btls /12blts as they go fast! At the time of publishing they are sold out, so look for this one in the spring or join their club to assure delivery of the next vintage. www.mayhemwines.com

Beringer Knights Valley 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon California $46.99

Canada $24.49

HIS: I am sad to say this one doesn’t visit our house as often as we would like. A super bold California cab, it brings chocolate, plums, and dark fruit to the palate with oaky notes that make you dream of Napa Valley. This one is perfect for those nights you deem special, like an anniversary, birthday, or the launch of a new bingeworthy Netflix series.

HIS: This one hails from the Okanagan Valley, from a small producer of fantastic BC whites and reds. Their pinot blanc is a fruit forward peaches and apricots example with a clean and crisp finish and just a hint of oak. Refreshing and delicious, this can be paired with boldly flavoured foods. This one regularly competes for space in our recycling bin, especially in the summer.

Santé, Tim & Sue

Mayhem Pinot Blanc 2017

HERS: Tim has a great point here, especially since Netflix has taken over our entertainment dollars, leaving wine to take over our entertainment budget. I love the headiness of this red. It warms you right to your toes as you snuggle with someone special and say, “Let’s just watch one more.”

THANK YOU to all our courageous CAREGivers.

connected. The Things Kids Say.


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January/February 2022


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January/February 2022

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From Family Yours From Our Family To Yours,our Wishing You Ato Happy And Healthy New Year! Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!