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THE No. 27

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

March 2018

Great Blue Heron among vulnerable species



Community personality


Joe Gardener




Neighbourhood shopping in your village meeting place. Drop in! See Page 15 for a listing of stores, products and services




Cultural connections



Going Coastal

Photo: courtesy of Rob Alexander

Pacific Great Blue Heron catches a starry flounder on Stearman Beach.



Catch of the day


nown in some places as ‘Old Frankie’ because their call sounds like ‘frank,’ the Pacific Great Blue Heron can be sighted on rocks and beaches between the seawall and Whytecliffe Park. Reaching between 93 and 137 cm in length (standing, with its neck extended), it weighs only two to three kilograms. Its graceful shape and body colours are its distinguishing features with blue-grey body feathers, a white head, a yellow bill, a black stripe above each eye and a black crest. Blue Herons nest in colonies in isolated areas because of their sensitivity to human activity. They will venture out for food, typically fish, frogs, salamander, snakes or crabs. Because of its declining population the Pacific Great Blue Heron is on B.C.’s Blue List of vulnerable species. For more information go to conservation/urban-wildlife/herons/.




A tale of two countries and one little girl Opinion

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.

March 2018

Lindy Pfeil


wenty-one years ago, my husband and I landed at YVR with a couple of suitcases, our permanent resident papers and a three and five-year-old. We had no clue how clueless we were, nor how many things could possibly go wrong. Through a series of fortunate events and a cart-load of luck, we ended up in Eagle Harbour. And even though I have once or twice whined about the cold, I feel incredibly lucky to live, work and play here. There is also, quite possibly, no better place in the world in which to raise children. I have

never thought of myself as an immigrant. Being ‘not-from-here’ has allowed me to behave inappropriately on more than one occasion. Canadians, I discovered very quickly, are very polite. In all my years of dashing into Safeway barefoot, only one woman has ever approached me about this. And she did so apologetically, with a question mark in her voice, as if perhaps the nakedness of my feet was not entirely my fault. That somehow fairies could have stolen the shoes from right under my nose while I waited at the deli. But I digress. The point is, I have been welcomed here. I belong. Even though the rest of my family continues to live in South Africa. This is home. My father-in-law died on Christmas Day this past year and so I headed south. Two days of air travel gives you a lot of time to think. And during my eleven-hour layover at Heathrow, I pondered all the memories I have not made over the past 21 years with my in-laws, my mother, my sister, my niece and nephew. And so, when my husband returned to Vancouver after the funeral, I stayed on in the sun – despite having entered the country with only hand luggage and my laptop.

I dragged my mother all over the place, nagging her all the while for stories of my childhood. We unearthed old photos and I made some startling discoveries about my father, who died long ago, when he was just about the age I am now. We visited the Opera House, and I twirled around on the stage where I had performed in my very first ballet. I imagined living there again, relishing the heat in my bones. And then I found Alice*. It happened on a Friday, at the soup kitchen where my mother volunteers. I was the drying cog in the three-person human dishwashing machine: washer, rinser, dryer. About twenty minutes into the process Alice became my rinsing partner. We started chatting. She was wearing an oversized white apron embroidered with yellow daisies, protecting her clothes. Her hair was tied in a ponytail, revealing the tiniest little gold studs in her ears. I asked her why she wasn’t at school. “Because I’m waiting to hear if they will have me,” she said. “Oh,” said the polite Canadian in me, biting my tongue. I didn’t want to traumatise her with the questions raging though my head, like who decides that a five-year-old’s time

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

The Donkin Monument close to the soup kitchen.

Kragga Kamma Gamepark in Port Elizabeth.

Photos: Lindy Pfeil

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March 2018 is better spent washing dishes than learning to read? And how could any school administrator go to sleep at night with a clear conscience knowing that somewhere a little girl with a button nose and a big heart was hanging around with old ladies in a kitchen when she should be playing with other children? When I enquired further, the church ladies told me, “Alice belongs to no one.” Those. Exact. Words. This was no time to be speechless, so I picked up my jaw from the church floor, prayed to God that Alice had not heard those horrible words, and started asking questions. Alice’s mother, a lady of the night the story goes, is ‘gone’ – a pretty euphemism for dead, it turns out. Her father too is missing in action. She lives with a woman who is a car guard at the church. Car guards are an interesting staple of South African life. Men and women who can’t find work, don yellow vests and stand around in parking lots watching cars. They have no means of protecting any of these vehicles, should someone attempt to break in, or steal one. Nor do they have any way of protecting themselves. Sometimes these car guards receive a pittance from whichever institution it is that owns the parking lot. Usually they do not. Most car owners have a cubby full of change. As they back out of their parking space, they crack their windows a little and poke out a hand filled with coins. Alice is clothed, fed and cared for by a woman who survives on these coins and R345 a month from the government for her foster care efforts (around $30). A jar of instant coffee costs R100. To attend school, apparently a child’s identity needs to be confirmed – which is only possible with a birth certificate – and for that you need a mother or a father to complete the paperwork. Alice has none of the above, and so lives in limbo – no parents, no identity, ergo no school.

 I was quietly horrified. I have spent much of my life working with children – many of them five-year-olds. Alice speaks both English and Afrikaans fluently. She is bright, curious, polite and kind. And unschooled - because of a ridiculous glitch in the system. You probably know what happened next. I got all Canadian. I sent a photo of Alice to various family members and trusted friends asking the same question: what should I do? I could see her shiny face in my daughter’s old bedroom, hear her laughter bubbling through our newly-quiet house. The soup ladies were pragmatic: “This place is full of Alices,” they said tersely. “You can’t save them all.” My sister chimed in: “Take her to Canada. She’ll have opportunities there she’ll never have here.” Daughter suggested financial support from afar. “Do what you want,” said husband, apparently unperturbed by the thought of a Kindergartner moving in. The next week I went back to the church, armed with colouring books, pencils, journals, markers and stickers. The little bag of goodies cost more than the monthly stipend her caregiver receives. We chatted for a while, me and Alice and the woman who looks after her. She assured me they were still trying to get her into school. I was not convinced and met up with an old childhood friend who used to be a teacher. “We’re so arrogant,” she said, not mincing her words on my account, even though I hadn’t seen her in thirty-five years. “We think our way is the only way.” She listed all the reasons my do-gooding plans were erroneous. And obnoxious. And so I left South Africa. My mother keeps me updated. The latest news is that Alice’s father has been located. He has provided the necessary documents and signatures, giving her an identity. She is still waiting to hear about school. It’s Sunday morning as I write this, and I have woken up to a wonderland of white.




I’ve been back in Eagle Harbour for less than a week, and I imagine Alice running through the sparkly garden. She has never seen snow. And I wonder, from the comfort of my little home, in this country that has

embraced me completely: how is it possible for injustice to continue dancing through children’s lives while I - cushioned by a lifetime of privilege and belonging - do nothing? *Alice is not her real name.

Port Elizabeth, where Alice lives.

Photo: Lindy Pfeil

Parking outside the Opera House, the oldest theatre in the southern hemisphere.

Photo: Lindy Pfeil

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March 2018

Going Coastal around Britain BY

Ian McBeath


n early summer of 2016 I set out on a quest to discover my roots by driving around the coastline of Britain, by whatever road was closest to the ocean – a journey of 5068 miles and five weeks. What I discovered was not only my own history but also much of that of Britain itself. Going Coastal is a personal observation on the history of Britain, both ancient and modern—unfolded in geographic rather than chronological order. What I found is a rich and beautiful land whose people have been shaped and influenced by their many invaders, who came either by force or in peace. I discovered the continuing influences of kings and queens, Vikings, Celtic priests, smugglers and the ordinary people of Britain. The diverse origins of its peoples are

still evident, as seen in language, accents and place names, but with the longest threads to the past being most notable in monarchy and religion both of which were strongly intertwined and influenced many of the forces of history. With a Scottish father (whose mother was an Irish Kennedy) and an English mother (born within the sound of Bow bells, whose father was a Welsh Morgan), I can lay claim to a very British set of genes. Wanting to reconnect with the land of my birth and the home of my ancestors, I began researching my family history. The furthest ancestor I can trace on mother’s side is to 1475 in Sussex and

“I set out to discover if the Britain I hold in my heart and in my memories still exists.”

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on my father’s side to 1390 in Fife, Scotland. With the name of McBeath though, I feel I should belong to a particularly noble lineage in Scotland! As my journey was coastal, the greater part was on roads that were no more than narrow lanes. And for four days in Scotland the roads had no markings at all. Where I could, I used vehicle ferries to save long drives around an estuary. Highlights were the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish west coast and its magical islands, such as Skye and Iona, the latter being the burial place of many Scottish kings, including my muchmaligned ancestor, MacBeth. The rugged Cornish coastline at the other end of Britain was also spectacular with remembrances of King Arthur and its history of smuggling. I set out to discover if the Britain I hold in my heart and in my memories still exists. My conclusion is that it does. Much has remained the same and Britain continues as a wonderful, sometimes magical place. Seen from its coast, Britain presents as a nation that is thriving, attractive and mostly unspoiled. Before I finished my trip though, the

Brexit vote happened with the vote being, by a very small margin, to leave Europe. I found this sad as history clearly shows that much of the origins of the British people are from Europe. Ian will be at West Vancouver Memorial Library on March 8 at 7pm for a slide and video presentation of “a short history of Britain, ancient and modern.” Copies of his book, Going Coastal, will be available on that evening. Going Coastal is available as an e-book or in printed format, directly from the author at

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March 2018



Recognizing women in theatre Elaine McHarg


n recognition of International Women’s Day (March 8) and World Theatre Day (March 27) it feels timely to highlight some of the great work in theatre being led by women here in Vancouver. If you can attend only one play during March make it FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW by Jill Daum with songs by John Mann (lead singer, Spirit of the West). It is the heartfelt and real-life journey of a couple and family facing the unforgiving ravages of early-onset Alzheimer. Jill, one of the original creators and performers of MOM’S THE WORD, channeled much of the fear, frustration and life changes into her script and the result is ultimately a story of love, friendship and forever partnership. The cast includes the always remarkable Jennifer Lines, Craig Erickson and Colleen Wheeler. I had the privilege of interviewing John Mann and Jill Daum at the West Vancouver Memorial Library in the spring of 2014. John was just releasing his solo album The Waiting Room which he wrote while battling cancer. Much of our conversation revolved around how artists use their creativity to deal with such challenges, and how family, friends, band mates and writing group members all provide strength and points of lightness. FORGET ABOUT TOMORROW is a touching, honest, and at

times funny look at a journey many families are facing in their own ways. At the Arts Club (BMO Theatre Centre, Olympic Village area) March 1-25. Another play by a powerful female force in Canadian theatre is the remount of Tracey Power’s CHELSEA HOTEL: THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN at the Firehall Arts Centre (East Vancouver) March 17-April 21. Leonard Cohen’s powerful and inspirational music is the heartbeat of Chelsea Hotel. With extraordinary new arrangements, six performers play seventeen different instruments in this tribute to a remarkable Canadian. Tracey Power is a playwright to keep track of as more of her unique storytelling comes to the stage. March is also one of the best times to experience theatre performed by the upand-coming thespians at UBC Theatre and Capilano University (Exit 22). This year both groups are taking on well-known but very different classics. EXIT 22 Productions is presenting the charming ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (book by Lucy Maud Montgomery) filled with the discovery of kindred spirits and new-formed family. A perfect opportunity to introduce the preteen set to both theatre and a Canadian classic over the March break. Runs March 15-24. April brings Theatre West Van back to the Studio Stage at the Kay Meek Centre with Agatha Christie’s GO BACK FOR MURDER. It is a classic whodunit filled with red herrings and a subplot of romantic love. Previews on April 13 and runs April 14-28. If you are looking for something other

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than theatre check out Centennial Theatre for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with TILLER’S FOLLY and The STAMPEDERS in Concert on April 5. Presentation House is once again holding their STANDUP COMEDY Night on April 17 featuring some of the favourites from CBC’s The Debaters. Opera is so rarely performed on the North Shore, which makes an AFTERNOON OF OPERA at the Kay Meek Cen-

tre on April 15 so unique. It will include favourite arias and duets from the great opera composers and one of the featured performers is West Vancouver’s own Mikayla Sager (soprano) who is back from NYC for this limited engagement. As always, try something new, take a friend, broaden your mind and your spirit, and revel in the experience!

Photo: courtesy of David Cooper Jennifer Lines and Craig Erickson lead the talented cast of Forget About Tomorrow.

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March 2018


Discovering Pueblo Pescadero, Baja BY

Susanna Bell-Irving Gray


escadero has one of the finest climates in all of Baja California Sur. The Pacific Ocean moderates temperatures year-round, keeping things warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. Besides being a great area for surfing, yoga, swimming, fishing, hiking/mountain biking, whale watching and beachcombing the climate is what attracts vacationers and residents to the area. Pueblo Pescadero is a planned recreational community on the Pacific shore of the Baja California coast. Conveniently located at the southern end of the Baja California peninsula, the community of one, two and three-bedroom casas is just 40 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas and 10 minutes south of the ‘Pueblo Magico’ vil-

Baja Sur beach at Pescadero.

lage of Todos Santos. Having grown up with Pueblo Pescadero developer, Peter Arbuckle, our family decided last year to forego our usual Christmas ritual at home and head to Baja Sur for a different experience of the holidays. We rented a three-bedroom casa that worked well for four adults. The flight to Cabo was just the right length of time to arrive energized and ready for the hour-long drive to Pescadero. After a stop at Costco in Cabo San Lucas, we headed north and arrived at our Pueblo Pescadero casa, Casa Palmeda. The architecture is beautiful and practical. We had all the amenities for a laid-back time together: barbecuing, reading, playing cards, taking long walks on the beach and touring the nearby towns. Some of our time was spent on the roof deck. Wifi was available but it was a temptation we tried to resist as much as possible.

Photo provided

A trip to Punta Lobos to watch the fishermen return in the late afternoon with their catches yielded our dinner that day, an enormous red snapper filleted in front of us. Exploring Todos Santos, a fascinating arts community, dining at Hierbabuena farm-to-table restaurant and Christmas Eve dinner at Rancho Pescadero were other highlights.

As it turned out, there were West Vancouver families in the area with whom we shared visits and meals. The feeling of community, even though we were far from home, made the experience special. The only things missing were our twin Maltipoo dogs. In Baja Sur our family discovered a different way to celebrate the holidays, one we would highly recommend.

49 years of Gleneagles golfing BY

Chris Stringer


ack in 1969, the Gleneagles Golf Course was described, says Don Smith, “as a goat ranch and I was a hacker.” He is now reaping the benefits of his long tenure. The course was selected as one of Canada’s best 9-hole golf courses in 2016 and Don is far from being a hacker. Don’s record is impressive. He has won 20 Club championships, eight senior championships and two super senior (over 80) championships. “And don’t forget about the five holes-in-one!” he adds. At the age of 86 last year Don walked 1000 miles and played over 200 rounds of golf at Gleneagles. Born and raised in Leeds, England, Don and his wife, Anne, immigrated to New Zealand in 1965. He explains, “It was too quiet down there so we came to Canada and, after stops in various places across the country, we arrived in Vancouver in 1967 and fell in love with it.”

Congratulations, Don, on being an inspiration to all of us hackers. We look forward to celebrating your 50 years of Gleneagles golfing next year at the Don Smith Open Championship perhaps?

Photo provided Don Smith, Super Senior Champion (over 80) 2015.

March 2018



Many pedaling options for senior cyclists Elspeth Bradbury


hat do Norwesters, Easy Riders, Silver Wheels and Turtles have in common? These four cycling clubs all operate from the Seniors’ Activity Centre in West Vancouver and all their membership lists are large. Senior cycling, it seems, is very much alive and well in the district. John Lait, who coordinates outdoor sports at the Centre, calculated that in one year, North Shore seniors participated in some five thousand individual cycling trips and traveled the equivalent of more than three times round the equator. When he started working at the Centre 13 years ago, the Easy Riders, who at that time called themselves the Tuesday cyclists, along with the Norwesters, an informal association for the over 60s, had already been pedaling enthusiastically around the region for more than a decade. The groups met once or twice a week and sometimes covered an astonishing 60 to 80 kilometers per trip although Easy Riders usually chose more leisurely outings over relatively level ground in suburban areas. By 2012, as the waiting lists for Norwester and Easy Rider membership continued to grow, it was clearly time to create more opportunities, and the Silver Wheels club was born. Membership in this offshoot group is open to anyone 55 or older, and its program, with about 100 trips a year, is every bit as ambitious as that of the Norwesters. Two years

ago, the Turtles came into existence. This is the smallest of the four clubs, and although its participants may be less speedy than the others, they are no less enthusiastic. The Seniors’ Centre helps all the clubs with registration, communications and meeting space as well as liability insurance for the volunteer leaders. The clubs have devised and mapped their own standard routes throughout Metro Vancouver and beyond. A typical round trip from the Seniors’ Centre, for instance, loops up to the Cleveland Dam and the Seymour Demonstration Forest – a vigorous 56-kilometer workout. The expansion of dedicated cycle lanes across the region has created safer as well as more pleasant cycling conditions. Safety is, of course, always a priority. Large groups travel in smaller parties each with a designated leader and a ‘sweep’ to ensure that nobody is left behind. Helmet stickers, provided by the District, carry medical information. Club members who voluntarily take part in the Bike Right Instructor Training program will soon be passing their knowledge on to the community as well as to fellow club members. Why are seniors’ cycling clubs so popular? Paul Stott is a volunteer leader, and his explanation probably applies to many other members. For most of his younger life, Paul had cycled to work or had simply ridden for pleasure. In his retirement, however, he had given up his wheels, and the lack of exercise began to create medical problems. Urged on by his wife, he joined Silver Wheels. “It saved my life!” he declares. “I lost weight. It opened up the city to me. I made friendships that I couldn’t have imagined. We just have a good time.” The social aspect of cycling is obvious

even on the clubs’ route maps. Coffee Stop is clearly marked on each one in red. It is even reflected in the designation of its pace groups as ‘Scenic’ or as the more energetic ‘Espresso’. There is now talk of cycle touring and of even

Silver Wheels take a well-earned break.


more challenging routes to be ridden, perhaps, by ‘Double-Shot Espressos’. If you would like to learn more about West Vancouver’s senior cycle groups, contact John Lait at 604 925 7230 or

Photo: courtesy of John Moir


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March 2018


Chris Wootten, “the embodiment of the good m Community Personality Chris Stringer


hat do The Cultch, Billy Bishop Goes to War, the events and entertainment for Expo 86, the Vancouver Playhouse, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Ontario Arts Council and the Vancouver Concert Hall and Theatre Society have in common? They were all under the direction (or the creation) of Christopher E. Wootten. Add to these arts and culture consultant for Bing Thom’s architectural projects, arts consultant for the city of Vancouver, city of Whitehorse and the Province of BC. On meeting Chris, one is immediately drawn to his infectious enthusiasm, ready smile and insatiable interest and energy. He appears to be on a perpetual adventure with life itself. One can only visualize his summers working the Wootten property on Gambier with the same vigour that went into his vast array of cultural projects. Talk about Billy Bishop and his eyes actually dance! Encounter him while walking the dog in the pouring rain and he is savouring the experience while pitying the dog for having to endure the weather. The Wootten energy is not confined to Chris. Lib, his best friend and wife of 50 years, maintains their own as well as their neighbour’s garden in Lower Caulfeild (their neighbour happens to be St Francis-in-the-Wood church and manse). Growing up in Vancouver, Chris Woot-

ten’s passion was theatre. He was president of the Special Events committee at UBC when it booked Ian and Sylvia, Jefferson Airplane and Ravi Shankar before they had become stars. After graduating from UBC, Chris dutifully heeded his father’s request to apply for entrance to Harvard Business School in 1965. And then, to his parents’ alarm, he turned down a high-paying job offer from The New Yorker, in favour of an internship at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Combining his love for theatre with his business acumen was the hallmark of Chris’ fascinating career in the performing arts. In 1968 he co-created a business called New Arts Management in New York before returning to Canada to work for the Federal Government where he was responsible for funding youth cultural programs. What happened next would be life-changing, as Chris explains: “I first saw the Cultch in 1970. The old Grandview United Church was being used by the Inner City Service Project as an office/meeting space for activist groups like the Vancouver Free University, Vancouver Welfare Rights and Urban Design Services. It was full of energy and felt wonderful. It reminded me of spaces in New York, and I immediately thought it would also make a brilliant performance space. Two years later, when I was a project officer at Opportunities for Youth, a co-worker, Darlene Marzari, (who would later become BC Minister of Culture) told

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me Inner City was folding and I should try to turn it into a theatre. I approached the United Church and they gave me a one-year option at no cost to see if I could put something together. I got matching grants from the city and province totaling $25,000 and a $50,000 grant from the federal Local Initiatives Program, and we opened October 15, 1973. A few years later, Mayor Art Phillips bought the prop-

erty from the church and we became a part of the city’s fabric.” The Cultch developed a reputation for bringing in hot shows from other parts of the country, like Richard Monette starring in Hosanna, and by the late 70s executive director Chris Wootten wanted to produce a show that could be sent out. Billy Bishop Goes to War was co-produced with the resident theatre company, Tamahnous. The production

Photo provided Chris Wootten, Founder of the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, in 1973.

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March 2018



Photo provided The 1983 “Invitation to the World” celebration announced and introduced Expo 86. In attendance at the ceremonies were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Here the Queen is viewing a model of the Expo 86 site. Director of Planning for Expo 86, Chris Wootten, is in the background.

not only travelled across the country but also wound up on Broadway and in leading international festivals. “Who would have thought the Vancouver East Cultural Centre could outsell the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Edinburgh Festival?” exclaims Chris. In 1981 plans were being developed for a world festival in Vancouver and in 1982 Chris was hired as the director of planning for Expo 86. With a budget of $45 million, he was responsible for cultural and entertainment programs on the exposition site and through the city. Chris insists that the stabilizing force in his whirlwind life has been Lib, his main critic, confidante and mother of their four children. Lib Killam and Chris met at a sailing regatta during their UBC years. “We’re really beautiful friends,” says Chris. “She has been fantastic at supporting my immersion in my work knowing that I felt guilty about my time away from the family.” Active family time was spent skiing in the winter and at cottages on family properties on Gambier and Savary Island in the summer. There were five years after Expo however, when the Wootten family lived in Ontario. Chris was executive director of the Ontario Arts Council and founding director of the Owl Centre for Children’s Film and Television. It was a family adventure that they relished. Lib renovated the old Rosedale house they lived in and they enjoyed summer family vacations in Europe. On returning to Vancouver in 1992, Chris took the general manager position of the be-

leaguered Vancouver Playhouse and restored its financial stability. When it closed this only whetted the Wootten appetite to immerse himself in his first love of theatre production and he revived Billy Bishop Goes to War in 1998 for a 20-week cross-Canada tour to sellout audiences. The original cast, John Gray and Eric Peterson, played their actual ages. Over the following two years, Chris brought the Broadway production of Rent to Vancouver and revived Jacques Brel is Alive and Well, both at the Vogue Theatre. Renowned architect Bing Thom, a member of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal, teamed with Chris to design art centres for more than 20 years. Bing designed two pavilions at Expo where he and Chris met. They remained in touch and Chris began consulting for Bing, designing arts and cultural projects in Vancouver and elsewhere. “Over the years, Bing and I tossed around a million ideas on how to improve the cultural life of the city, one of Bing’s passions,” says Chris. “Our association was one of the rich experiences of my life and I was stunned when he died suddenly two years ago.” Chris is currently enthusiastic about Vancouver-based Electric Company Theatre. Their co-production (with Kidd Pivot) of Betroffenheit recently won an Olivier award in London, and they just announced plans to begin producing plays annually at the Vancouver Playhouse. He’s raising money for The Full Light of Day, opening next January at the Playhouse, which he says is going to be stunning. Legendary Max Wyman, one Canada’s most respected arts commentators, has written about Chris’ arts and culture projects

since the 1970s. “Chris is a life-force that you can’t resist,” he says. “He’s positivity personified. There’s a flame of optimism in him that burns away negativity. I always come away from being with Chris feeling warmed and renewed. And valued. He treasures the people in his life. And he is unstoppable in his determination to share with everyone, all of us, the blessings he finds in the arts and entertainment, and his belief in their importance in building an involved and understanding community. Empathetic, generous, enthusiastic ... he’s the embodiment of the good man.”

Photo provided Lib and Chris with Ed, Sarah, Chuck and Nathaniel. The entire family, 14 of them, gathered in Tofino to celebrate Lib and Chris’ 50th anniversary.

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March 2018

Even when things change Spring is always the same BY

Ann Frost


hat’s changing in West Vancouver? More traffic? Bigger houses built on lots with no trees? Children and adults with cell phones soldered to their wrists? Communicating by email or twitter? And while the answer to all these questions is a resounding ‘yes,’ people of all ages do still send cards. All sorts of them on Valentine’s Day, along with roses for their sweethearts, as welcome now as they were then. And what about Spring? The snowdrops came up in late January, as they have done for as long as we have lived in Caulfeild, fol-

lowed by the crocuses and the daffodils and soon there will be tulips, as always. And was there lots of rain in early spring back then? Of course. And is it the same today? Well, this year it certainly is. And there are good reasons to like the rain. You don’t have to shovel it! And we wouldn’t have our huge cedar trees without it. And once the weather warms up a bit, walking in the rain has its charms as well. All true then and all true now. Spring break is a bit different. It used to be part of Easter weekend - whenever Easter was - and now it is a set time each year, but still a welcome break for parents and their children. A late snowfall makes for wonderful spring skiing on the local mountains. It’s

also time, though, for some beachcombing. Tiny crabs still hide under the rocks and little ones still get a thrill when their parents catch a wee crab for them so that they can watch it wiggling in their hands before returning it to the beach. And daylight savings? Then and now? Yes indeed, although it is starting earlier and ending later than it did way back then. There has always been something special about the first few days when it is still lovely and bright after supper. Time to sit on your deck with a last cup of coffee or stroll to the closest beach for sunset. We were blessed then, and we are blessed now to live in this wonderful part of the world.


Chloé Noël


was recently invited to go skating at Robson Square with my boyfriend and friends of his I’d never met before. Despite my challenging day at work, I plastered a smile on my face and attempted to win these strangers over. But I was tired, grumpy and absolutely starving. Stomach pangs had me doubled over as I glided like a shaky fawn around the rink. Everyone seemed keen to

skate for another few hours so, bent on making a good impression, I kept my misery to myself. What felt like ages later, finally munching on dinner, I vowed to never let myself reach that point of hunger again. For that reason, in the future I will have at least two of these delightfully healthy cookie dough energy bars on my person at all times, to keep a genuine smile on my face no matter the circumstances. This recipe is quite simple as it requires you to simply dump ingredients into a food processor and blend them. Another perk is that it is 100% naturally sweetened by the natural sugars in the dates. This recipe is also gluten and dairy free.

Photo: L. Pfeil


In case of emergency Cooking with Chlo

Spring scenes around Caulfeild.

tted medjool da tes ½ cup of melted coconut oil ¼ cup of sliced al monds (or any nu ts you find in the pantry) ½ cup of oatmea l (or any flour subs titute) 1/3 cup of shredd ed coconut 1/8 cup of coco a 1 tsp. vanilla ex tract ½ cup of dark ch ocolate ½ cup of peanut butter  Photo provided Protein packed and filled with healthy fats, these bars will keep you skating for hours and hours.

Chloé is a part time vegetarian who tends to overshare and overeat.

Blend the medjool da tes Add the almonds, oa and coconut oil together into a paste. tmeal, coconut, cocoa an blend until reasonab ly smooth. Press the d vanilla extract and dough into a 9x9 inc lined with wax pape h pa r. Top with melted da rk chocolate and me n peanut putter swirle lted d and refrigerate. Optional: Press the do ug drizzle balls with me h into balls and if you’d like to be fancy, lted chocolate/peanu t butter.

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

Caulfeild Village Mall 5313 Headland Drive | 604.923.4747 Dr. Vangie Tsui, Dr. Kiran Jhutty, Optometrists

March 2018




It’s Spring. Ready, set, go! MARCH - With Spring just around the corner, here’s a to-do list for the month of March: • If not done already, cut down your ornamental grasses, your ferns and lavender (not too close to old wood). • It’s still a good time for moving shrubs around. • Watch out for clusters of tiny round whitish eggs as they are slug eggs so destroy them but don’t harm the shiny black beetles because they’re beneficial to your garden and eat lots of pests. • Spend some time now tending to your roses by pruning as you see a bud just about to burst through. Prune just above an outward facing bud at 45 degrees; shape to attain the desired height and take out those crossing branches. • As it gets a little warmer this is a good time to plant summer bulbs like lilies, dahlias and gladiolas. • Prune those early-flowering shrubs just after flowering to encourage new bud growth for next season. • Aerate your lawn with a ‘plug removing’ type machine and follow up with top dressing of turf mix soil. Also apply a fastacting pelletized lime early and don’t fertilize for two or three weeks after the lime application. APRIL - With Spring finally here, it’s time to get to it! • Edge all your garden beds and yes, it’s time to weed again.

• Deadhead daffodils but don’t cut back the foliage until it begins to yellow. Tie them up in a decorative fashion rather than letting them fall to the ground. • Mulch around your roses with a well-rotted manure and put your banana skins in the soil - lots of trace elements to feed them! • Shear back winter flowering heathers to promote growth and new buds. • Evergreen hedges can be trimmed now. • Continue lawn care with the first few cuts made at higher levels. Sharp blades are an absolute must! • Mulch your garden beds with a good soil amender (pure compost) or composted bark mulch. All will leach nutrients through to plantings. • Time to begin care for your rhododendrons. They need an acid soil to perform well (ph range 4.5 to 6). Roots should be in welldrained soil and must be kept moist at all times. • If your garden is small, try this low-growing species: R. yakushimanum or ‘Yak’ for short. It’s a great performer!


Adopt a School golf program at Gleneagles


ast summer Geoff Jopson, Captain of Gleneagles Golf Club, Men’s Division organized a meeting with Aron Campbell, Principal at Gleneagles Ch’axay Elementary School (GCES), Maria Pistilli, GCES school representative, Alex Doucette, Golf Operations Manager at Gleneagles Golf Course and Linda McDonald, Captain of Gleneagles Golf Club, Women’s Division. Geoff proposed that the Gleneagles Golf

Club follow Golf Canada’s newest initiative by adopting a school to drive interest and fundraising efforts around the Golf in Schools program. With the close proximity of Gleneagles Ch’axay Elementary School to Gleneagles Golf Course, a golfing relationship seemed a perfect fit. Both divisions of Gleneagles Golf Club have donated money to purchase specialized equipment for the program. A few meetings later, with enthu-

in association with Theatre NorthWest, Prince George Performance Sponsor Mark W. Sager, Sager Legal Advisors

nity on a volunteer basis. It enhances our commitment to the Junior golfing program, where we organize two Junior tournaments every summer: at Gleneagles Golf Course on July 23 and at Ambleside Par 3 on August 17 this year. Our Club also provides volunteers and donations for the Special Olympics program at Gleneagles Golf Course in the Spring.



Kathryn Sager, Sager Financial Group

siasm from all parties, we are now planning to run a three-day program on April 18, 19 and 20 for students in grade 4 to 7. Alex Doucette will be providing golf professionals to lead the golf lessons with the teaching staff at GCES and volunteers from both divisions of the Gleneagles Golf Club. The Adopt a School program will continue Gleneagles Golf Club’s mandate of promoting golf within the greater commu-


Season Sponsor

by Daniel MacIvor


Call: 604.981.6335 or KAYMEEK.COM



March 2018

Have you found your soul-mate? Psyched Out Ian Macpherson


f you have been with your partner for more than twenty years and are content, read no further. The killer hurdles in the relationship survival course tend to occur before the end of the first, then second decades. But if, like Virginia, you are single and looking or maybe coupled but fantasizing about greener pastures, you may need to rethink your approach to achieving your dream. Four times married J.P. Getty, once ‘the richest man in the history of the world,’ famously vowed that he would gladly give up all his millions for one good relationship. This reflects the common fallacy that love is all about luck and you just have to wait until Ms. or Mr. Right shows up. Then, as in the fairy tale, you can live happily ever after. Yet the beautiful princess always has blemishes. Likewise, the handsome prince is humanly flawed. What to do? Many of us know couples who have met through scientifically-designed match-making websites or activities like power dating. Sometimes the ensuing romances succeed. However, this may be more in spite of - rather than because of - the method of meeting. There is nothing inherently mistaken about looking at love scientifically, but finding the right mate is not the same as checking off ‘must haves’ on your shopping list. Who we end up with will likely be selected from a very small and relatively familiar population. And there is little doubt that there is more than just one individual in the

crowd who we could be drawn to. And when some princess is attracted to one or another in the field of princes, the story will only have a happy ending if the pair recognizes the truth about love at first sight. First of all, only around 11% of happily married couples were initially swept off their feet by each other. Nothing wrong with a bit of infatuation, is there? But the kind of intimacy that qualifies as ‘soul deep’ comes from a profound sense

of safety and security that necessarily takes some time, past the initial thrill, to mature. Research shows that the underlying emotionally-based attachment process is at the core of lasting romantic love. It is estimated that about 40% of us have emotional blind spots that interfere with awareness, empathy and trust - harming or destroying the process of forming a solid bond. However, none of us, pulled into the

dance with a prospective partner, is completely sure or prepared - but we can learn. So, Virginia, put away your list of demands and stop this endless searching. If you want a soul-mate you will have to make one! Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in West Vancouver. More at

The heart on Caulfeild Exit’s rocks BY


Kim Clarke

t appeared two years ago on a rock in the westbound exit to Caulfeild and if I wasn’t such an excellent passenger I would have missed it. It was the perfect colour red and the most excellent heart-shaped piece of guerilla art in the neighborhood. I looked for that heart every time I took the exit and planned to take a photo of it. I loved it. I plotted how I was going to stop and park my car, plod over and have a closer look at the modern petroglyph all the while avoiding being flattened by some speeding vehicle and becoming a piece of road art myself. By the time I figured out how I was going to take this stealth photo, the heart had been defaced. Someone declared their love in the heart in non-calligraphic bold white drippy initials. The drips informed me that these were not artists. The defacers were simply that. Drippy. So now I had a new mission. I was going to, in the dead of night, encased in ninja garb, ‘fix’ the art, remove the offending script and re-red the heart. In my head I

was thinking that I was symbolically repairing every broken heart everywhere. But this repair required a new parking plan, a paint plan, a costume plan and the knowledge that I might get arrested for public mischief. And this just didn’t sit right with me, even though, philosophically it felt good and made some sort of middle-of-the-night sense. And then it happened like it always seems to. The world righted itself. On the evening of my repair mission I drove past the rock doing a little pre-guerilla reconnaissance. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but the re-painted heart! Someone had

painted it white. Solid white. This was not my first colour-choice but the heart was fixed and whole - my heart too. And therein lies the lesson: I am not alone. There is another soul in my neighbourhood who pays attention to the little bits of love that surround us, who needed a heart to repair, and did it, with absolutely no fanfare. Kim Clarke is a writer and teacher who lives in Horseshoe Bay. She is surprised and delighted by the inexplicable details of every day; nothing is random, everything is purposeful and beautiful and fabulous and sparkly and she wants to share sparkle, in all its forms, with the world.

Heart Rock beside the Caulfeild westbound exit.

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

Photo provided

March 2018



The community welcomes Rev. Heinrich and Linda Botha BY

Chris Stringer


est Vancouver Presbyterian Church welcomed the Reverend Heinrich Botha as their new minister on February 1. Heinrich is from Pretoria, South Africa, where he received his theology degrees. After ministering in South Africa, Heinrich and his wife Linda, came to Canada in 2014 where Heinrich was Church School Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church in Edmonton until 2017. He received his Certification for Induction in the Canadian Presbyterian Church in 2016. Heinrich looks forward to being a guide at WVPC for exploring the richness of the Bible and the Christian faith, and its relevance in people’s lives. He reveals, “Something I’m passionate about is seeing healing and growth in relationships, which is why I have a certification as a re-

lationship therapist.” According to church elder, Jean Lawrence, Heinrich holds a tune and has a well-developed sense of humour. These qualities will serve him well as he follows

in the footsteps of much-loved previous minister, Glenn Inglis. Reverend Botha’s official induction to his new position at the church will take place at 3pm on Sunday, March 11.

Join us for fun on the fourth (4th) Saturday each month.

g a mes ts craf sto r ie s fo o d songs e We hop ou y to see ! there

ST. FRANCIS-IN-THE-WOOD CHURCH A place for families celebrating community Heinrich and Linda Botha at the West Vancouver Presbyterian Church.

Photo provided

West Vancouver Presbyterian Church

Services Sundays 8am &10am

SERVICE : Sundays 10:30am 2893 MARINE DRIVE 604.926.1812


Financial Advis ors Inc. 604.687.7773


(with Sunday School)

Wednesdays 10am 4772 Piccadilly Road South

604.922.3531 |


Karl Krokosinski Micheline Varas Tori Alexander



March 2018


In search of Franklin’s lost ships David Roberts


n May 19, 1845 Sir John Franklin sailed from Greenhithe in search of the North West Passage. Sir John was in command of 128 officers and men. His flagship was H.M.S. Erebus accompanied by H.M.S. Terror, two refurbished Royal Navy bomb ketches. The two ships were furnished with supplies designed to last until July of 1848. In truth, they were expensively equipped with a great deal of unnecessary clutter, including silver cutlery for the officers’ messes and 2900 books divided between the libraries of the two ships. These volumes included Arctic reference books, volumes on religion, novels by Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray, the complete works of Shakespeare

and bound volumes of Punch magazine. the Bathurst Sea. The Erebus and the Terror were last seen Extensive sweeps of the ocean were conby two whaling ships out of a port on the west ducted where it was thought the two ships coast of Greenland. Sir John and members might be found. The Icebreaker, Sir Wilfred of the crews left letters Laurier was enlisted as the destined for home floating headquarters with the captain of of the expedition. It one of the whaltook six years beers. He also sent fore the first of the four members of ships was found, in his crew home via eleven metres of these ships. These water just off the letters were the last coast of King Wilthat was ever heard liam Island. from the doomed The captain of expedition. the Laurier was Bill In 2008, the GovNoonen. After the The Franklin expedition. Photo provided ernment of Canada anfirst ship was discovered, nounced that an expedition was to be mount- The Laurier sailed down to Gjoa Haven, on the ed by Parks Canada to try to find Franklin’s south east coast of King William Island. This lost ships. It was a romantic idea, but also was the settlement named by Roald Amundmight strengthen Canada’s claim to sover- sen, the first man to navigate the North West eignty over the waters of the Arctic archipel- Passage. He called it after his ship, The Gjoa. ago that stretches from Northern Labrador to Amundsen had spent nearly two years frozen

Dave, world traveller PARC resident

in at this location, from 1903 to 1905. Bill Noonen fell into conversation with a local Inuit, Sammy Koguic. Noonen told Koguic about the exciting discovery of what everybody recognized as one of Franklin’s abandoned ships. “We’ve located a wooden ship that must be one of Franklin’s ships,” said Noonen. “We don’t know if it’s the Terror or the Erebus.” Koguic looked at Noonen, paused, and with a sly grin said, “It’s the Erebus.” Noonen was naturally startled by this revelation. “How do you know that, Sammy?” Koguic responded easily, “Well, you know. It’s about time you guys started listening to us locals.” Sammy Koguic was right. It was the Erebus. David Roberts, QC, writes from the perspective of working in Vancouver, living in lower Caulfeild for over 60 years and with a keen eye for his surroundings and experiences. For many years he was the editor for the Advocate, published for BC lawyers.

When not travelling overseas with his wife, Dave can be found playing cribbage with the group he started at the Westerleigh. The game has been a favourite in Dave’s family for generations, and next on his list is to challenge other PARC residences to a championship! “We’ve made long-lasting friendships with other Westerleigh travellers.” That’s how it is at Westerleigh PARC: it’s easy to keep up old interests, with new friends. 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

March 2018




Neighbourhood shopping in your village meeting place. Drop in! Bank of Montreal 604.921.2982 BC Liquor Store 604.922.8201 Caulfeild Dental Centre 604.922.1305 Caulfeild Gallery & Framing 604.926.1886 Caulfeild Insurance Centre 604.922.9100 Caulfeild Medical Clinic 604.922.1544 Caulfeild Veterinary Hospital 604.922.2344 Cobs Bread 604.926.8820 Fisherman’s Market 604.281.2000 Designer One Hair Studio 604.925.3959 Healthworks 604.922.3320 Iris Optometrists & Opticians 604.923.4747 J Gregory Men’s Apparel 604.921.2646 Marilyn’s Boutique 604.925.4110 Mega Sushi 604.281.0200 Pastameli’s Restaurant 604.922.9333 Pharmasave 604.926.5331 Post Office 1.800.267.1177 Safeway 604.926.2550 Spa On The Rocks 604.922.3636 Starbucks 604.922.4955 Subway 604.922.7501 Valetor Cleaners 604.925.3900 Village Pet Food 604.925.3334 VPR Realty 778.688.4149 Windsor Meats Co. 604.926.6168




March 2018


BIG BIKE, PRESENTED BY DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA IS A HEART-PUMPING, CHEER-THUMPING CRAZY BIG FUN RIDE! Come aboard the Big Bike on May 14th at Capilano Mall and help us raise life-saving research dollars for Heart & Stroke. If you can’t ride, support someone who is riding. Visit and help give Canadians more of life’s precious moments. sponsored by

The Penny Mitchell Group

West Vancouver Beacon Newspaper - March 2018  
West Vancouver Beacon Newspaper - March 2018  

In this issue: • Going Coastal • Cultural Connections • Community Personality • Joe Gardener • Inkwell