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THE No. 23

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

July 2017

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands He clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ring’d with the azure world, he stands. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls. - Alfred, Lord Tennyson


obert Alexander is a wildlife photographer who is passionate about the bird life on the North Shore where he lives. He explains that our extensive bald eagle population right here is in part due to the fact that they nest in the large trees growing beside the water. Their primary food is fish and they have the ability to swim using their powerful wings. “I like them because of their intensity. Nature has fantastic healing properties and brings people in tune with themselves,” says Robert. Elspeth Bradbury’s article on our bald eagles can be found on page 7. Photo: courtesy of Robert Alexander

Bald Eagle overlooking Stearman Beach.


Community Personality


Home & Living




Mountains to Sea







In This Issue 4





The things we never talk about

Chris Stringer Publisher


Lindy Pfeil Editor


Penny Mitchell Advertising


Melissa Baker Creative Director

melissabaker 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.

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July 2017

Lindy Pfeil


bumped into an acquaintance at a barbecue recently who told me he reads everything I write. I tried not to hyperventilate. Mostly, I try to forget that people sometimes read my random streams of consciousness. “You have no shame,” he continued. Ah, I thought, here it comes – the judgement. Instead, he said, “You write about the things we all secretly want to talk about, but never do. The uncomfortable stuff.” The “no shame” comment was ironic since I had just come from a circle where we had shared our ‘bullying’ experiences - and the shame we felt as ‘victims’, ‘offenders’ and ‘bystanders’. I use quotation marks because I have seen instances where the three are so tightly wound together that it is almost impossible to separate one from the other. The African principle of Ubuntu – I am because you are – comes to mind. Relationship is everything, and everything is relationship, or lack thereof. I had been invited into this particular circle by a woman I admire greatly: Astrid is the Artistic Director of Pro Arte Centre, and was my boss for many years. An extremely talented award-winning choreographer, she uses dance as a vehicle to examine society’s values and effect social change. In their antibullying initiative, I’m not the Only One, she and her dancers visit schools and perform two dance pieces choreographed by Kim Dixon, one of Astrid’s former students. The young dancers then engage with the audience in discussions around exclusion, judgement, kindness and compassion.

I sat on a little red stool in the studio watching them dance. Goosebumps covered my arms and when I tried to speak, tears popped out instead. A very large part of my life has been spent in dance studios, first as a would-be ballerina and then as a dance teacher. I had taught some of these dancers as five- and six-year-olds. We had skipped through imaginary forests together, picked berries and made pies. Dragons had joined our tea parties, and we had sprinkled stardust on sleeping fairies. Then, they had little round tummies and magic in their eyes. Now, they have learnt that life is not all glitter and sunshine. After their performance, we circled up on the studio floor, fourteen of us, sharing stories. Of being excluded. Excluding others. And the shame of it. Beautiful stories of sometimes unbeautiful experiences. Belonging is at the core of what it means to be human. It motivates our behaviour, our values and our beliefs.1 Brain scans show that rejection or exclusion results in activity in the brain in the same area that registers physical pain.2 That is how badly we need to belong.

And sitting in that place of vulnerability and kindness, it struck me – this is what home feels like. There were tears – of being hurt and hurting others. We are all human. Mistakes are how we learn to do better, be better. But only if we can create a place for hurt and shame to be talked about, acknowledged, let go. With compassion. I am so excited about this project. Dance affects us in a visceral way, deep in our bones, in a language we all understand. It creates the space for difficult conversations – the “uncomfortable stuff” – and gives a voice to those who need it. And that is where belonging is born. To bring I’m not the Only One to your school please contact / 604-984-2783. 1 Chambers, D., Jones, P., & Riley, M. W. (2017). Belonging and the Relationship to Whole Schooling: Introduction to themed issue. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 131-4. 2 Eisenberger, N., Lieberman, M. & Williams, K. (2003). The pain of social exclusion. Science, 302, 290-292.

Students of Pro Arte Centre in conversation with Lindy.

Photo provided

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July 2017


Fighting For Fil – our ride to conquer cancer by

 on Nalewajek, Gina R Whitaker & Mara Nalewajek


he Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefitting the BC Cancer Foundation is a special part of our lives. When we learned that Filomena, our mother and wife, was living with an incurable, aggressive cancer, we knew we needed to fight to conquer the disease. Filomena was diagnosed with extrapulmonary small cell carcinoma in March 2015. As a tight-knit family, we rallied to support her. Our Ride team Fight4Fil formed and we participated in our first event in August 2015. After completing the trek from Vancouver to Seattle, we returned home to Filomena, welcoming us with accolades and champagne. Sadly, this would be the only Ride that Filomena would welcome us home from. On February 4, 2016,

World Cancer Day, our dear mom and wife lost her life to this disease. Filomena knew a thing or two about what she and our family were going through. A registered nurse, with a master’s degree, she worked within palliative care programs in both Alberta and BC, and went on to lead Canuck Place Children’s Hospice as CEO for 12 years. Filomena was also a consultant and board member for several non-profits. In 2013, she retired to focus on her true passion – family. True to her Italian roots, Filomena created a space for family and friends to gather around the table, indulging in savoury feasts she prepared with heart. She spent countless hours in her garden, following in her mother’s footsteps, and joined a local women’s hiking group, exploring the North Shore, forming deep friendships. Together with our family, the hiking group contributed to a commemorative bench for Filomena, at the trailhead of her favourite hike at

Whyte Lake in West Vancouver. Filomena’s legacy lives on in our family. Along with planting in her garden and preparing the meals she taught us to make, we are committed to the Ride to Conquer Cancer. In 2016, our team more than doubled

its size and we raised more than $46,000! We are so thankful to those who have supported Fight4Fil. We are riding again in 2017, fighting for a world free from cancer, in honour of Filomena and all those impacted.

Ron Nalewajek with family at Fil’s 60th birthday in August 2015.

Photo provided

Should we always try to avoid pain? Psyched Out Ian Macpherson


ot too long ago, it was considered a virtue to tough it out when suffering from the pain of disease or surgery. It was usual to delay taking medication until the agony became unbearable. We now know that keeping discomfort to a minimum not only makes us feel better, but also speeds recovery and reduces complications. Avoiding pain as much as possible seems the natural thing to do. While this applies in medical situations,

psychological distress seems to follow different rules. It has been said that pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. For instance, when we struggle to suppress the thoughts that trigger upsetting reactions to previous emotionally traumatizing experiences, we actually increase our distress and decrease our awareness. For example, try not to visualize a white bear. Did that work? Conversely, if I asked you to see as many white bears as you could and keep doing it, after a while you would lose interest and find it difficult to bring a white bear to mind. This simple exercise illustrates that when we encourage thoughts instead of resisting them, they have less power over us. Likewise, if frightening or



shameful memories of our past experiences become exposed in a safe environment within a trustworthy relationship, we can move toward a resolution. Like the damaged leg that we can now walk on - but with a limp - we still know the psychological pain, but we ‘own’ it by facing it and are not dominated by our suffering. It is called the pain paradox. We have also discovered that damaging experiences are complicated by earlier psychological development. Attachment injuries from childhood abuse and neglect exacerbate the negative impact of adult trauma. And all avoided pain, especially from this early trauma, constricts our lives as we shut off the source of any triggers that

might remind us of our pain and cut off any relationships that threaten to reveal our denied secrets. The emotional upheaval of being triggered may in fact be nature’s way of getting us to face reality and eventually recover. A therapeutic approach may simply be less disturbing and more efficacious. Suppressing emotional pain leads to superficial relationships and instead of protecting us, actually opposes the pursuit of happiness. Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in West Vancouver. More at

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July 2017


If you want something, fight for it by

B  everly Pausche West Vancouver School District


ack Turpin, first a student at Lions Bay school, and now a 2017 graduate at Rockridge Secondary school, knows that if you want something, you have to work for it — and work he has, building a solid record in the hockey community, contributing back to the sport he loves, and earning a $3000 scholarship, courtesy of the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, in the process. Zack is the happy recipient of the top overall PCAHA scholarship, the ‘Stan Smyl Scholarship Award’, which was presented by Darcy Rota, of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association last month. In the game since he was in Kindergarten, beginning with the West Vancouver Minor Hockey Association, Zack has played for the Nanaimo Bucs, Sicamous Eagles and Oceanside Generals Junior B teams, as well as the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Juvenile A2 team and his Rockridge high school team. He also participated in the Hollyburn Hockey Academy in Grade 8 and on many North Shore Spring teams as well as the Port Moody Panthers Junior B team for 2015-2016. Zack will be heading to Thompson Rivers University this fall to start a water technology program, while playing for the Sicamous Eagles. Online classes will allow him to dedicate more time to the sport he loves. “I just want to play at the highest level I can for as long as I can,” says Zack. “The hockey community has shaped who I am and I love the competitiveness, physicality and teamwork involved.” Since his earliest days in the sport, Zack has had to earn half of his registration fees, and did so by collecting pops cans and sell-

ing his old toys and clothing at consignment community, WVMHA now has the largest stores. Additionally, he worked as a referee contingent of Lions Bay players it has had in a long time,” says Zack’s mother, and a seasonal employee at Cypress Lisa Turpin, who describes mountain and the Furry herself as her son’s Creek Golf course. ‘rink rat’ and #1 His parents refan. “I’m a very cently returned lucky mom his contribu- he is very tion to him humble about in the form his accomof a separate plishments RESP, which and is a really was a big surgood kid.” prise for Zack. Thanks to his His parents are hard work, his parboth extremely proud of their son’s achieveents, his coaches Zack accepts the Stan Smyl Scholarship Award and school staff who ments in the sport from Darcy Rota of the Vancouver Canucks helped him along the that he loves, but Alumni Association. way, Zack is ready for even more pleased that his determination and commitment to the next chapter of his life. We wish him every success as he leaves Rockridge for postsucceed has also helped others. “I personally believe that in part due to secondary school and the next phase of his his extensive volunteering in the Lions Bay hockey career.

Zack playing the game he loves. Photos provided

We can end the cycle of poverty by

A  nna Markovsky Grade 7, Gleneagles Ch’a xáý Elementary School


ere in West Vancouver we are so fortunate to have the food, clothing, shelter and all the stuff that we have. But because of that, we sometimes don’t realize how many people are living in poverty. And poverty can result in some other very serious issues like child labour, disease and famine. Living in poverty means not having enough money to access the basic necessities of life. Can you believe it?


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There are many reasons for poverty, including a nation’s history and national debt. Discrimination is another reason: being denied certain things because of your religion, race or gender. For example, in Pakistan, girls are not allowed to go to school just because of their gender. Lastly, natural disasters like earthquakes also contribute to poverty, because people lose everything, including the basic necessities. Poverty affects not only the poor themselves, but all people and society as a whole. The poor are usually stuck in a cycle of poverty. They don’t have money to send their

children to school, to get treated when they get sick, or to have a safe place to live. Without an education, they can’t get a job and this can lead to young people joining gangs and getting involved in crime. There are so many ways you can help but to begin you can have a clothing or a food drive, or raise awareness (like I have). Clothing and food banks provide food and clothing either at a cheaper price or for free. Raising awareness helps because if people know about the horrors of poverty then more and more people will want to help. Let’s help end the cycle of poverty together.


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July 2017



A Day in the Bay hosted by Gleneagles Ch’axáý by

Aron Campbell Principal, Gleneagles Ch’a xáý Elementary School


hat started as a wild idea, came to fruition on Friday, June 2, in a true showing of generosity, community cohesiveness and collaboration. Susan Lepin, an energetic Gr 7 parent of two at Gleneagles Ch’axáý, and better known as ‘Snap’ in the children’s musical duo, Ginger and Snap, is also the driving force behind Inner City Love. This community outreach program, driven entirely by the volunteer efforts of people like Susan and another GEC Parent, Christine Mattern, serves the needs of students at Admiral Seymour Elementary. Susan suggested connecting GEC Students in primary and upper intermediate grades and culminating this connection by hosting the Admiral Seymour students to a ‘Day in the Bay’. Soon the Gleneagles Ch’axáý Parent Advisory Committee, under the leadership of Kelly Richter and Grace

Russell, was on board. Parent volunteer extraordinaire, Shevaun Brown, led the way. After securing the support of Horseshoe Bay businesses such as Sewell’s Marina Sea Safari, Troll’s Restaurant, Blenz Coffee, Cobs Bread, Spirit Gallery, Horseshoe Bay Search and Rescue, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium, a plan came together. A pen pal relationship was built between the two schools with the commitment of Gr 6/7 teacher Charity Cantlie and Gr 2/3 teacher and GEC Vice Principal, Natalie Mendes. Horseshoe Bay provided a beautiful backdrop for our visitors from Admiral Seymour Elementary. After a traditional Squamish blessing and welcome song with WVSD First Nations Education Liaison, Bob Baker, S7hplek, close to 95 students from both schools rotated through three stations over the course of the day. This included a Sewell’s Sea Safari of the natural beauty of Horseshoe Bay and Howe Sound waters; a presentation put together by groups including Vancouver Aquarium’s AquaVan, Horseshoe Bay Search and Res-

cue Team and Adventure Smart; and an authentic Troll’s fish ‘n chips lunch for our guests. WVPD’s Cst. Jeff Wood and Chiaxstin, Wes Nahanee, entertained everyone with the stories behind the WVPD youth outreach canoe, Ch’ich’iyuy. The students and staff of both schools, coupled with the countless Gleneagles

Ch’axáý parent volunteers, made this inspirational day possible. Hopefully it also left the 55 Admiral Seymour Elementary students with an unforgettable memory of connection, collaboration, and new friendships. Thank-you to everyone who contributed. We hope that this is not the last edition of ‘A Day in the Bay.’ Huy chexw!

Students and volunteers enjoying their Sewell’s Sea Safari in Horseshoe Bay.

Photo provided  Photo provided Students from Gleneagles Ch’axáý and Admiral Seymour Elementary enjoying their ‘Day in the Bay’ made possible by the generous support of community organizations, local businesses, and staff and parents.

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July 2017


Plan-less in Southeast Asia by

Kate Pfeil


n January 12, I set off on a fourmonth endeavor around Southeast Asia with a haphazardly packed 65-liter backpack, a few words of caution from my parents, and an optimistic attitude. Did I have a plan? Not even close. If you’re my mum reading this, I’m sorry I lied about having a detailed agenda and finely tuned budget. If you’re anyone else, I strongly urge you to do the same thing. Take, for instance, the beautiful island of Langkawi, Malaysia. Ever heard of it? Neither had I. To be honest, I thought Malaysia was somewhere near India and probably someplace without running water. However, our Vietnamese tourist visas were a few days from expiring and, according to the internet, Langkawi was the cheapest

place to fly. So off we went. We weren’t disappointed. Not only does Langkawi have running water, they have a turquoise ocean averaging 30°C year- round, sand so white it almost hurts to look at, and - debatably the best part - a McDonald’s. After a brief stint in Malaysia, we were ready to move on. The question was where? We headed to the ferry terminal, and on the recommendation of travelers there, were on the next boat out to Koh Lipe. A tiny Thai island of 3.5 km by 2.5 km not even shown on most maps, this place was the textbook definition of pristine island paradise. And then the snag: only one place on the small island could accommodate us - Lipe Camping Zone. I don’t have anything against outdoor living, but a very real hatred toward camping was born in this sweltering, mosquito-infested, camouflage tent. A true character building experi-

come, celebrate

ence, this hiccup somehow turned out to be a very memorable highlight. A few, relatively smooth-sailing, weeks later, we found ourselves in Pai, a quaint town in Northern Thailand known for its fresh street cuisine and vibrant art and music scene. Word on the street is that Pai is the ultimate place to master the art of scootering. This is wrong. The roads are very confusing, and you will get lost. Originally en route to a waterfall, we ended up stranded curbside without access to Internet or an English street sign. Thankfully, we also ended up meeting two locals on their way to an elephant sanctuary. We tagged along, and after a small donation of 500 baht (approximately $20), spent the day playing barefoot in the river with two elephants recently rescued from captivity. This article was initially supposed to contain some handy dos and don’ts of travelling Asia, and a list of recommendations for Beacon readers heading that way. But really, the only advice I can give you is simply to go, and figure out the rest when you get there.

Sunset on Langkawi. Photo: courtesy of Bryton Harris

Pattaya Beach, Koh Lipe.

Photo: K. Pfeil

in Horseshoe Bay Park with Karen Fowlie and Copper Cove Road

Saturday, July 1st at 6.30pm

Photo: courtesy of Jacqueline Dignam

Kate with the elephants at the sanctuary in Pai, Thailand.

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July 2017


mountains to sea

Project eagle-watch needs you Elspeth Bradbury


ost North Shore residents have watched bald eagles soar overhead, and many are aware that these impressive birds nest here in our neighbourhoods. Few, however, have been as lucky as one West Vancouver family who received an unexpected gift recently, when an eagle lost its grip on an over-ambitious catch and dropped a large, very fresh and perfectly edible salmon into their garden! At least six active nests – out of 11 historical sites – exist in West Vancouver. We know this because biologist David Cook began to survey local nests in 2000. Over the years, he noted 29 nest sites on the North Shore and kept detailed records of dates and locations, as well as nest failures and successful fledging of young. Last year, after 15 years of monitoring, he passed the coordination of this volunteer effort to Caulfeild resident Sally McDermott. The project couldn’t be in better hands. Sally’s childhood home, with its large woodland garden threaded through with creeks, has been a huge influence in her life. She loves to work outdoors and eventually took a horticultural training course before starting her own gardening business. Since she and her husband returned to her family home four years ago, she has continued, with energy and passion, to develop the magnificent garden. She joined the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society as well as Nature Vancouver. She is a knowledgeable birder, and above all, she believes in community stewardship. Sally hopes that the eagle-watch project

will encourage residents to take pride in their local eagles, enjoy the birds’ presence and understand their needs. Bald eagles require trees substantial enough to support their large nests; ideally ancient Douglasfirs of which West Vancouver has a good but dwindling supply. Other tall trees serve as lookouts for potential food sources and as perches for feeding. A degree of peace and quiet are essential during the nesting season – approximately March to July – and are, in fact, required by Federal Law. If the parent birds are disturbed at this time, they are likely to leave the eggs or chicks exposed to predatory crows and ravens. With this in mind, Sally is planning to provide the North Shore municipalities with a detailed map of nest locations that can be checked before blasting permits are issued. The information that David collected between 2000 and 2015 has been published in the Nature Vancouver’s journal Discovery (2008 and 2015 issues). That, and future nesting information for the North Shore, will be readily available for scientific study worldwide when Sally adds it to Project Nest Watch, which is run by Bird Studies Canada. Such vast networks of citizen sci-

One of at least six active nests in West Vancouver.


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entists have become an invaluable resource for scientific research. Among the volunteers who currently monitor bald eagle nests on the North Shore, four keep an eye on West Vancouver’s sites. Sally would love to hear from other residents who know of sites and who would be willing to help out. The task is not arduous. Monitors report to her three

times a year: in winter on signs of territorial behaviour; in spring on nesting activity; and in June through July on the number of young and their fledging date. If you would like to do some monitoring, or if you would simply like to know more about the history of ‘your’ nest please contact Sally at

Sally McDermott in her woodland garden.

Photo: courtesy of Jacqueline Sinclair Photographic

Photo: courtesy of Robert Alexander

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July 2017

community personality

Ross Penhall - effort in mastery by

Linda Leier


n absorbing errand is the agreement to undertake and sustain a compelling practice of your own, an effort at mastery that requires time and focus. It is an adventure with many perils.

Yet in return you gain a window seat, forward motion and a landscape made new.” Janna Malamud Smith Born and raised in West Vancouver, Ross Penhall took his inspiration from his childhood neighborhood, the complexity and beauty of the rain forest, and captivated the art community with an astonishing collection of original landscapes. Ross is largely

self-taught. Though, early on, his sensibilities were influenced by The Group of Seven and Emily Carr, his style is wholly his own and very identifiable. He discovered as a young boy that he had a proclivity for drawing buildings and this skill is evident in the composition of many of his paintings. There is a simplified, sculptural form in much of his early work. The arrangement of shrubs, trees, hedges, fences, boulevards and corners is deliberate and architectural in form. Juxtaposed with this order are the soft touches of his brushstrokes that temper and blur the edges. The effect is somewhat non-naturalistic while at the same time carrying an emotional impact of the absolute beauty he is attempting to express. His use of color is vivid and extravagant. The structural characteristics loosen and change with his forest paintings. The scenes are less arranged. There is movement. Peter Wohlleben says, in The Hidden Life of Trees, “In the forest there is a battle for every last ray of sunlight.” Ross captures the light and the essence of forest life in his Lighthouse Park paintings. Passion for art captured him at eleven years of age when he discovered his talent for architectural drawings. He was deft at sketching buildings but his youth spent biking, hiking and exploring the playgrounds of Whytecliff Park, Lighthouse Park, Hollyburn Mountain and Cypress Creek and sur-

rounding areas resulted in a love of forests and nature. Painting was the medium and landscapes the translator of his experience. With 29 years as a firefighter, retiring as Captain, and more than those years as an artist, Ross has sustained two seemingly disparate practices of his own. His years on a fire truck, navigating the streets, boulevards and back lanes of Vancouver provided different material for his artistic eye, but the subject matter was always the trees, the grass, the shrubs, the riot of ever changing colour in a west coast rain forest. So familiar were many of the neighborhoods along those routes that he could paint them from memory. They seem at odds with each other, these two professions. Painting is a very solitary act while firefighting requires teamwork. But both require discipline and focus and both are fraught with peril. Ross said that unless there were victims inside a burning building, he felt more anxious in front of a blank canvas. There are elements of risk in both careers. In his continuing journey as an artist Ross has trained himself to look at things from different angles. Firefighting helped him in that regard. Painting helped him to process the emotional experiences and some of the trauma he encountered as a firefighter. In an interesting way, these two careers are complimentary. Having achieved success so early in his career, there might be some trepidation in facing the next steps. How does one con-

“So familiar were many of the neighborhoods along those routes that he could paint them from memory. ”

Ross Penhall. 

Photo provided



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July 2017

tinue to evolve, having been marked by excellence? Ross has achieved mastery in both professions: an honored retiree as Captain and a lauded artist successful with his very first installation. Patrons continue to line up for his shows and clamour for his unique landscapes. Ross claims an interest in debunking the myth of the artist. His very demeanor flies in the face of the stereotype: he is neither brooding nor morose and does not appear to be tortured to the point of seclusion or isolation. He is accessible and eager to share his experiences. His tenure as a firefighter taught him the value and rewards of serving community. He has participated in Artists for Kids, raising funds for the Gordon Smith Foundation, since 2000. He is a husband and father of young adults. And it was, in part, his commitment to family that fueled his career with the fire department, understanding the fiscal challenges that plague the budding artist. He paints in a warehouse,


surrounded by his bike and fire gear. Boyishly youthful, he doesn’t wait for inspiration to find him but shows up faithfully and regularly to his studio. My sense of the man is that he has indeed undertaken ‘a compelling practice’ and that he is extremely disciplined in his approach to the blank canvas. He finds his inspiration in travel, revisiting new places and familiar neighborhoods to experience them in different ways. He continues to photograph, to draw and My Favourite View 2017, Ross Penhall’s 40”X52” pain ting of Gleneagles Golf Cou rse. to keep his eyes open. His Photo provided craft is a reflection of life where, in ‘an ef- body of work already in fort at mastery,’ constant adjustments must evidence, my intuition tells me that there is seat’ into the future and his landscapes will something exciting around the next corner be ‘made new.’ be made. With an abundant and well-received for Ross Penhall. He has indeed ‘a window

Ross at the Artists for Kids Gallery where Accidentally on Purpose was created by randomly cutting small fragments from larger compositions to create smaller compositions.



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Photo provided



July 2017

Mother Earth and Gaia’s story by

Anne Baird


ur North Shore community is one of the most beautiful in the world. Because we want to keep it that way, many of us are devoted environmentalists. For those of us who love the earth, and who work to protect and cherish it, the Greek goddess, Gaia, is our go-to goddess inspiration. Gaia’s story is hauntingly similar to the great creation myths of other cultures, including the Judeo-Christian scriptures. But with one huge difference: it emphasizes the role of mother instead of father. In the beginning, we are told, Kaos, void and tumult, was all that existed. From this

emptiness, Gaia emerged. Together with Eros, the loving generative principle of creation, she created the world. First, she gave birth to the mountains and the sea. Then, yearning for a mate, she created Uranus, the heavens, to be her son and husband. Uranus covered her with his starry cloak and fathered a host of mythic offspring. However, he was not a good father. He disliked and feared his children. Titanic struggles followed. Uranus, his descendants and rivals, fought amongst themselves for supremacy, much as we see happening in the world today. Devastation and destruction inevitably followed. Throughout the tumult, Gaia, Mother Earth, serenely continued to bring forth children of every kind. She struggled to protect and nurture them all. No child was unlovely or unlovable in her

eyes. She was the primordial element from which sprang everything that lives. Everything that lives is of her, and to her everything shall return at death. The worship of Gaia went into decline for thousands of years as patriarchal gods supplanted the goddess. But she lives on still, not just in the beautiful world we see around us, but in the Gaia Movement, founded by British scientist and inventor, Dr. James Lovelock in the 1960s, with his publishing of the Gaia Theory. This environmentalist theory argues that the entire planet is a single, living organism. Everything is interconnected, mutually dependent, and must be defended. We violate any part of Gaia’s creation at grave peril to the world and our souls. The Orphic Hymn to Gaia cries, “Come,

 Photo provided Gaia, one of 25 legendary goddesses in Anne’s online collection of over 236 e-cards, celebrating women and the ones they love.

Blessed Goddess, and hear the prayers of your children.” Now, more than ever, we need Gaia’s wisdom and healing grace. Anne Baird is a self-taught West Vancouver artist who is the designer/author/owner of Goddess Cards, and its virtual sister, 

Celebrating summertime and Canada by

Ann Frost


hatever the weather, summer is often a time of relaxation, visiting with friends, and enjoying

some of the amazing local events. This year of course, that includes Canada’s 150th anniversary. Does anyone remember our 100th? Centennial coin sets and special $1 bills, the original 45 rpm disc with the Young Can-

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ada singers singing the Centennial Song, matchbook covers with the Centennial logo, the special commemorative plates and mugs? And then there was the Confederation Train filled with exhibits showcasing Canadian history and culture. Over 2.5 million Canadians in 63 cities learned more about their country, and were awed when the train pulled into their city with the horn sounding out the first four notes of “O Canada.” The Armed Forces Tattoo toured the country, reenacting more than 300 years of Canada’s military history and major contributions to the Arts by the federal government. National tours were organized for Anne of Green Gables, Don Messer and His Islanders, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia Tyson and the National Ballet and the National Youth Orchestra.

Festivities started at midnight on December 31, 1966 in Ottawa, presided over by Lester Pearson, Prime Minister and John Diefenbaker, Leader of the Opposition. And Expo 1967, remembered as the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th Century, was visited by Canadians from across the country. We travelled with our four youngsters, camping all the way, and finally got so expert at setting up and breaking camp that our youngest daughter, then six years old, asked why other people took so long to set up or break camp. The year ended, as it had begun, on Parliament Hill. The Centennial Flame became a symbol for a year that was not merely significant in and of itself, but one that marked the emergence of Canada as a mature and self-confident nation. Canada 150 has a lot to live up to.

“At Amici restaurant we specialize in old world Italian cooking, where the food is plentiful and delicious! You want Italian? We’ll give you Italian with our tradition of warm hospitality.”

- Scott

1747 Marine Drive, West Vancouver | 604.913.1314

July 2017

Home & Living


Time to light up the BBQ A Culinary View Maureen Goulet


love summer because my husband cooks most of the dinners. I do all the prep and marinating; he stands at the barbecue and gets all the credit, but that’s fine by me. One of my family’s favorite barbecue dinners is satay. If you have travelled to Asia you will recall hibachis lining the streets with delicious meat on wooden skewers cooked to perfection. The best satay I have ever had was in Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia where the skewers were served with a delicious spicy peanut sauce. The meat is

Photo provided Barbecued chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce.


your choice - chicken, pork or beef - marinated for a few hours or overnight to infuse it with spices that will awaken your taste buds. I like to serve it with an easy-to-make Thai noodle salad. Enjoy! Maureen Goulet is the owner of Ambrosia Cooking Ltd/ private cooking events with guest chefs

1 ½ lbs thin sliced pork or chicken marinade 2 tbsp lime juice grated zest of one lime ½ tsp red pepper sauce 3 tbsp grated onion 1-2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp coriander ½ tsp cumin ½ tbsp grated fresh ginger 2 cloves crushed garlic 2 tbsp water ½ cup Soya sauce or Teriyaki sauce 1 pkg wooden skewers

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Allow to cool before adding the sliced meat. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. Soak skewers in water before using. Weave the meat onto skewers. BBQ time will vary depending on thickness of meat. For best flavour cook over coals.

Thai Noo

Spicy Pean ut S

auce 1 small onion ½ cu p peanut butter 1-2 cloves garli c 12 ch ili peppers 1-2 tsp brown sugar 3 tbsp soy 1 tsp lime juice 1½ cups coconu salt to taste t milk ½ cup water 1 tbsp peanut oil Crush garlic an d chop onions. Sauté together small saucepan in a with oil until on ions are limp. Ad sugar and juice d and cook over medium heat. the peanut butte Add r, peppers and so y to the above simmer and stir and until creamy. Ad d coconut milk water while still and simmering, stir un Best if made a til sauce thicke day ahead. Refri ns. gerate and rehe when ready to at use. Drizzle wa rm sauce over cook satay before se ed rving.

dle Salad 1 pkg of fresh or dried egg nood les 3 tbsp sesame 1 cup sugar pe oil as 1 1 cucumber gr tb sp ric e vin eg ated ar 1 tsp sugar 1 red pepper ch opped 3 tbsp choppe 1 can baby corn d green onion 2 tsp minced fre Dressing fo sh ginger r Noodles 2 tsp minced ga 6 tbsp soy sauc rlic e 1/4 cup Thai sw 1 tbsp vegetabl eet chili sauce e oil Fresh noodles can be found in the produce ar according to in ea of your groc structions. Drai ery store. Cook n and cool in co Squeeze out ex ld water when cess water. finished cookin Blanch peas in g. boiling water un til the peas turn water to stop co bright green. Su oking. bmerge in ice Combine the dr essing ingredie nt s in a measurin In a large bowl g cup. , combine the cooled noodles cucumber, suga with the season r peas, red pepp ing sauce, grat er and corn. Se ed ason to taste an d serve cold.

To Mona, life is one big party – from enjoying afternoon cocktails in the Westerleigh’s front garden to taking ukulele lessons, because “why not?” Mona is thoroughly enjoying herself.

Mona, full of fun PARC resident

“I love spending time in the garden, life at the Westerleigh is delightful”. That’s how it is at Westerleigh PARC: it’s easy to enjoy the amenities and just have fun. And with PARC Retirement Living’s focus on maintaining a healthy body and mind through our Independent Living+ program, it’s easy to see how life’s just better here.

Call Gail at 604.922.9888 to reserve your tour and complimentary lunch.

Life’s better here 725 - 22nd Street, West Vancouver



July 2017

A dream comes true by

Chris Stringer


hen Tara Mason was thirteen years old she began her dream job of working at a tiny tot summer camp where she spent the next six summers. Today, Tara still works her dream job as the owner and principal of Tiddlycove Montessori School. Tara entered UBC in 1994 intending to become a pediatrician. But after visiting hospitals, and realizing that children in her care would not always recover from illness, she decided to switch her focus to occupational and physical therapy, graduating with a B.Sc. majoring in biopsychology. There was little opportunity for her in this field and Tara yearned for a career with young children, like the one that had made her so happy during her teen years. Tara’s mother encouraged her to pursue Montessori teaching, and in 1998, armed with her ECE and Montessori diplomas, Tara found her first teaching job in Vancouver.

This required a commute from her home on the North Shore, so when, two years later, a position became available in West Vancouver, she applied. “When I reached Lighthouse Montessori in Tiddly Cove,” Tara reminisces, “it was my first glimpse of St. Francis-in-the-Wood and I knew that I was home. It was the most idyllic, peaceful and serene place I had ever seen and the thought of being able to work here was like my dream come true. Imagine my thrill when I was offered the job! I taught for five years, running the school for the owner and then, in 2005, when the owner moved on, I was encouraged to continue the school on my own. Tiddlycove Montessori was born and the dream continued.” During her 17 years at St. Francis-in-theWood, Tara has developed strong relationships and a lasting bond with the community, the children and their families. In July 2011, Rev. Angus Stuart married Tara and her husband, Bo. And on Easter Sunday in 2014 she and her son, Zachary, were baptized at St. Francis. “My first impression of being ‘home’ was exactly right,” Tara smiles.

“Tiddlycove Montessori was born...”

Services Sundays 8am &10am (with Sunday School)

Wednesdays 10am 4772 Piccadilly Road South

604.922.3531 |

Photo provided

Tara and Zack.


For boys and girls ages 6 to 12 Monday July 10 to Friday July 14 10 am to 12.30 pm Cost: $75 for 5 days Call for information: 778-233-3785 West Vancouver Presbyterian Church

West Vancouver Presbyterian Church Service : Sundays 10:30am 2893 MARINE DRIVE 604.926.1812 (for the month of August service will be held at 1525 Taylor Way, St David’s, at 10am)

July 2017



joe gardener

Tips for summer gardening July The warm balmy summer weather begins to peak this month so it requires your attention to: •B  e conscientious of water conservation and the appropriate municipal restrictions on usage. •E  nsure your gardens have a good layer of mulch to help keep the soil moist. •T  ry to trap rainfall in containers or barrels connected to roof downspouts. •C  heck the soil an inch below the surface prior to watering; if moist, hold off with watering until dry. •E  nsure containers and baskets are watered daily, and use nutrient-rich fish fertilizers. •R  egularly dead-head or pick back annuals and flowering shrubs, especially roses. •R  oses could use well-rotted steer manure dug into the first inch or two of soil, and should be fertilized after each bloom flush.

August This hottest month of the year brings out the best in perennials. Fragrant honeysuckles and sweet peas love this time. • Water deeply first thing in the morning so that the wet foliage can last until the heat of the day. • Rambling roses should get their final pruning. • Clip off the final flowering stems of lavender to keep the shrub tidy. • Now’s the time for the first hard pruning of wisteria; prune those ‘wispy bits’ back to 3 to 5 nodes from the main stem. • Time to order peonies for September/October planting. • Dahlias are popular with lots of cultivars, great for cutting and the flowers are edible! More news later on how to care for tubers. • Cut raspberry canes that have finished fruiting to the ground and tie new canes to a bamboo support. Happy gardening. 

Photo: Adobe Stock Images

Ride for Rescue reaches new heights


arly on Saturday morning, June 10, 289 cyclists rode up Cypress Mountain to raise funds for North Shore Rescue and Rotary humanitarian projects. Awaiting them at the chalet was a pancake breakfast served by the West Vancouver Rotary Sunrise Club volunteers and their supporters. This annual Rotary event was the most successful to date with over $123,000 being raised. Not bad considering they raised $12,000 on their first ride 7 years ago. Congratulations Rotarians, riders, sponsors, donors and all the amazing volunteers on a superb community event.

Photo: courtesy of Ralph Sultan

Some of the 289 cyclists.

Landscape Design

Your Garden ...Our Pleasure







Grace McCarthy, a one-off Rafe Reminiscing Rafe Mair


t is with a deep sense of loss that I acknowledge the death of my dear friend and colleague, Grace M. McCarthy, on May 24, 2017. Although I knew it was coming, I’m still having difficulty coming to grips with losing her. There has been no one quite like her in my public life - we worked together, fought battles side by side, quarreled, held each other in great respect and affection and were friends. After we had both left govern-

Call for nominations


ment, Grace was the first person I called if I had a question that had even the remotest connection to politics. In her political prime, some of her opponents viewed her as hard, but those who took the time to look, saw a warmhearted, caring person who was one of the finest Human Resources Ministers B.C. ever had. Where many had the talk, Grace had the deep social conscience to walk the walk. When a granddaughter got Crohn’s Disease, Grace formed, breathed life into, and raised millions for her CH.I.L.D. Foundation. To watch her work in her 80s was like watching a miracle. Every bit of Grace Mary McCarthy went into her hugely successful undertaking, her adored and adoring family, her enormous circle of friends and al-

C  hris Stringer


r ons

who esilt on,


who ns



The West Vancouver Community Awards Committee is seeking nominations for volunteers in nomination deadline September 26, 2017 our community who have made September 26, 2017 a difference in our quality of life. recognizing individuals or Individuals or groups who have groups who have provided outstanding volunteer contrito West Vancouver provided butions outstanding volunteer contributions to West Vancouver, can be nominated in five different categories: Community Commitment, Environment, Heritage, Arts & Culture and Health, Wellness & Activity. For further information, or to nominate an outstanding volunteer, please go to The deadline is September 26, 2017.

Nominate someone online at or fill out this form and mail it or drop it off at Municipal Hall.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS nomination deadline

District of West Vancouver Community Awards 750 17th Street, West Vancouver BC V7V 3T3 t: 604-913-2772 | e:

ways, to the end, public service. Personally, she supported me when many wouldn’t. To be up to your eyeballs in controversy and hear her smiling voice supporting and cheering you on was a tonic like no other. We shared a birthplace Photo provided Grace Hospital - and a joke.  Grace and Rafe deep in conversation at Rafe’s book release in NovemWhenever I introduced her ber 2015. I would mention that she was the first girl born there Successful at whatever she undertook, and named after the hospital; that I too had be it business, politics, service to people, been born there but, thank God, was not friendship, love of her family, Grace Mary the first as I wouldn’t have wanted to be McCarthy was a one-off and we truly shall called Grace! not see the likes of her again.

Our community loses a friend by


who enn

July 2017


ohn Leith, everyone’s friend, and the friendly butcher at Someplace Special, passed away at age 87 on May 10. John was in his forty-third year with Safeway in March 2016, when he suffered a stroke from which he did not recover. His ‘daily deal’ announcements from the meat counter and his friendly chatter around Caulfeild Village will be missed. In January 2015, after numerous Beacon readers requested a story about John, we shared some of his interesting story: Born at the Grace Hospital in Toronto, “to the beat of the Salvation Army big drum and his mother shouting, Hallelujah,” John grew up in Toronto’s East York. At age 11, he delivered meat for the local butcher. Before long he had quit school and at 15 his career as a butcher began.

While attending St John’s Evangelical church, John met and married Muriel, and they decided to go west to Edmonton where John joined Safeway as a butcher and Muriel was hired by City Hall as the secretary to the infamous Mayor Horlick. The following years were a blur for the couple as John enrolled in programs at Simon Fraser University followed by a stint in pre-med courses with the University of Portland. In 1973, Safeway opened the new store at Granville and 70th, and John became a full-time butcher realizing that this allowed him to serve and interact with people, which was his real passion. It

was also in this year that John and Muriel began their love affair with Horseshoe Bay when they moved into 6376 Argyle Avenue, the original Horseshoe Bay legion. John served three terms as head of the Horseshoe Bay Community Association and served his beloved customers at Caulfeild Safeway for more than twenty years. His hobbies were “socializing and listening to people,” and he was clearly skilled at that. His motto, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” made him a most interesting teller of tales. Our community will miss his laughter, friendship and fantastic stories.

Safeway is proud to support local farmers and producers. See our wide range of local products throughout the store.

July 2017





July 2017

West Vancouver Beacon Newspaper - July 2017 Edition  
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