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THE No. 16

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

May 2016

’Tis the season …this is the place

Photo: Courtesy of Hyperfocus Photography

Lower Caulfeild shore.


Community Personality


Now, the elegant Caulfeild Cove Hall with its adjoining lounge and enclosed courtyard hosts wedding receptions throughout the year.

Beneficial Bees


Travel Notes



Long Table Fine Dining



Teen’s Dream Job

Speak to West Vancouver couples and many will reveal that they were married in St. Francis-in-the-Wood church that overlooks the cove. It has been regarded as the wedding church for over 80 years.


In This Issue 3

end of the cove is protected from the ocean by Lighthouse Park on one side and rock outcroppings on the other that provide the ideal place for a romantic Pacific coast wedding.



aulfeild Cove, for years a shelter for small boats during rough weather, is now the chosen place for brides and grooms to share their special day with friends and family. The little beach at the

Landscape Design

Your Garden ...Our Pleasure








On music, marathon madness and Jason 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.

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: 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:

May 2016

Lindy Pfeil


of a boy I didn’t know. Alphaville’s “Forever Young” is a student pub, meeting the man I would marry. Thirty-one years later, he remembers my shoes. I remember the smell of cheap red wine. George Michael is secrets, unexpected kindness, broken promises. Leonard Cohen is betrayal. Discovery. Darkness. And love unplanned. Robbie Robertson is the path not taken, and the wondering that forever accompanies the unlived life. The list goes on. Births. Anniversaries. More death. Accidental friendships. Crying in cars. Each with its unique soundtrack immortalised in neurons and bone marrow. And so my playlist and my remembering grows: Tina Turner, Donna Summer, The Weather Girls, Sonny Lester and His Orchestra. What many of you don’t know, and what my family tries to forget, is that in the midst of my midlife crisis, in my late forties, I had a stint as a burlesque performer. It lasted until I invited my husband to a show, at which time it ended abruptly - another story for another time. But I still have the music. It puts a smile on my face and a sway in my stride, and reminds me that courage hides in my limbs. I’m now in search of music unattached to my own memories. Perhaps you can help

did something a little silly recently. The organisation I work for is participating in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon as a fundraiser for our school programme. Now everyone knows I don’t run – anywhere: not around the block, not to catch a bus or a wayward pet, not to save my life or anyone else’s. But all the other women at work signed up. And so I did too. I even set up a fundraising profile, which means I now have to find sponsors, and then actually complete the damn race! I keep reminding myself that I walked 600 kilometres last summer. I’m not sure how long a half marathon is, but it can’t be 600 kilometres. Can it? So I dug out my Camino shoes. Last year I walked without music. Just fresh air, nature, street noises and my thoughts. I’d read somewhere about mindful walking, and decided I should attempt it, being a pilgrim an’ all. I tried to pay attention, be in the moment, all Zen-like and such, but I was not terribly good at it. All it did was remind me how much weird stuff lives in my head. So I was thrilled when Jason Mraz recently declared that “people who wear headphones while they walk, are much happier, more confident, and more beautiful”. Who doesn’t want to be 2 HORIZONTAL more beautiful? Seven years ago, it was VERSION Jason who accompanied me every night for months on end as I two-finger-typed my way to my first book. To the tune of “Bella Luna” and “Life is Wonderful” my story tumbled haphazardly into the world. I love Jason. Forever. A song is never just a song is it? Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints Go Marching In,” is my father singing off-key, strumming his banjo, cigar smoke hanging heavy. “Ave Maria” is the too-tight royal blue choir dress of Catholic school, stained glass windows and a white coffin containing the body Walking Westport again.

me by forwarding your musical suggestions. Preferably with a story. Something to accompany me up and down Westport or along Marine Drive. Something that might just end up in a future edition of The Beacon. And if you’d like to join the North Shore Restorative Justice team, or sponsor my latest folly, please email me at The big day is June 26, 2016. I have no idea how this will all turn out, but there will be laughter and music, maybe some tears, a little cursing. And in the meantime, I’ll see y’all around the neighbourhood.

Walking Marine Drive.

Photo: Lindy Pfeil


Photo: Lindy Pfeil

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May 2016


When Mickey Mouse is your best friend - a teen’s dream job by

Elizabeth McPherson


hen 15-year-old Natalia McLaughlin went to Disneyland on her Dancing School trip, she never dreamed she would end up spending the next few years as their Teen Ambassador. Natalia landed the job alongside Mickey Mouse, doing promotional work for Dance the Magic. She hosts events and covers television specials in Disneyland, Walt Disneyworld and Disney on Broadway (New York). “It’s a big commitment,” she says. “It means lots of travel and having

to do my schooling online.” But she admits, “it’s a whole lot of fun too. I have a regular camera crew in the Parks. I stay at the Disneyland Hotel and get to play in the Parks during my off time. It’s best when I bring my little sister, Juliet!” Sometimes filming, events, school and travel schedules get hectic and it’s always nice to come home, breathe the air and walk through Lighthouse Park. “The woods have a magical calm. I can relax by Cypress Creek and regroup before heading back again. The beach is a great place to think.” Young McLaughlin arrived at Cypress Park in Kindergarten, directly off the set of Sesame Street in New York. Her mum and

dad left their Broadway careers in favour of West Vancouver. Sister Juliet also pursues the family business. She heads off to train with The Joffrey in New York this summer. Now 17 years old, Natalia is happy to have recently enrolled at Rockridge just in time to graduate alongside her Cypress Park classmates. Her future looks exciting as she heads to LA soon to record as a developing artist at Universal Music Group.

Ride to Conquer Cancer by


Natalia and Mickey.

Photo: Courtesy of Dance the Magic

Photo: Courtesy of I. McLaughlin Filming in Disneyland/ Natalia McLaughlin spends her time commuting between Anaheim, Orlando, New York and Lighthouse Park.

Peter Jesson

am 68 years old. Originally from England, I have lived in West Vancouver since 1973 and am an avid cyclist year round. I am participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation for my third time. My favourite part is motivating my team up the toughest of hills and celebrating with everyone at the end of the 200-kilometre journey. When I rode for the first time in 2013, I was about to experience a threat with colon cancer – something I could not foresee. Fortunately, the disease was caught early, and I underwent an operation to remove part of my colon, ultimately saving my life! I am able to Ride to Conquer Cancer every summer because of breakthrough research. Though retired, I am on team PWC Gladiators, as I used to work at Price Waterhouse Coopers. It’s so great to be on a team with former coworkers and many new employees, too. We are one big family. In 2015, the Ride raised over $8.4 mil-

lion for the BC Cancer Foundation and had 2,087 participants. Since 2009, the Ride has raised over $70 million for the foundation, enabling the BC Cancer Foundation to support breakthrough research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency. Every participant is epic – we are all riding because we have connections to cancer – whether personally or indirectly. So many survivors cross the finish line with a yellow flag standing tall behind them too, but still, there are many riders who cannot be there with us.

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Jesson Peter Jesson at the Ride to Conquer Cancer presented by Silver Wheaton benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation.



May 2016

Is risk-taking really such a bad thing? Psyched Out Ian Macpherson “I’m always afraid of taking risks,” says Elsa. She would probably disagree with the adage that a ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what a ship is built for. Even ancient Lao Tzu offered, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” These sayings seem to promote taking risks rather than playing it safe. Evolution suggests that we are all risktakers to some degree: our very survival depended from time to time on the need to take action when the outcome was uncertain. Genetics plays a part: some of us are driven to increase our level of stimulation while others

want to ‘tone it down’. Yet, while there is a connection between these differing kinds of temperaments and the kinds of chances people take, there is no actual overall risk-taking personality. It is more usual that we would find, for example, someone who loves to drive fast and recklessly but would not be ‘caught dead’ with a cigarette. Or, you might shudder at the idea of skydiving or swimming with stingrays, but still be willing to invest your life savings in foreign swampland. Of course, our interpretation of the situation matters. What seems unsafe to some may not seem so to others. And for the thrill-

“What seems unsafe to some may not seem so to others.”

Community in Bloom Photo: Glenn Owen

“Watching Village shoppers”

seeker, the sense of danger is part of the draw. In other instances, we humans have a tendency to discount hazards that get in the way of our hopes and desires. For example, losing gamblers take ever-increasing risks hooked on the expectation that their luck will change. If we are becoming less cautious about some risks, we also overestimate other perils. Some child development researchers assert that our children today are over-protected. In our zeal to prevent

all possible harm, it seems we are preventing our children from acquiring their own ‘school of hard knocks’ wisdom. So is risk-taking good or bad? As you can see, it depends on how you weigh the consequences. For many of us, like Elsa, the fear is neither physical nor financial but about failure or rejection. Yet, contentment rests on building satisfying memories, and regret is fuelled by remembering what we missed by not taking a chance. Ian Macpherson is a psychologist who lives and practices in Caulfeild. More at

Addiction affects us all by

Rodney Glynn-Morris


ddiction is suffered by about 1 in 10 Canadians – even on the North Shore! CBC News reported the following: “North Vancouver couple’s sudden death shocks family. Pair celebrating new job found dead, leaving beloved toddler behind” (CBC News, July 28, 2015). Both in their 30s, the couple left behind a 2-yearold son, and a family in mourning. Toxicology testing confirmed that the pair had ingested toxic levels of fentanyl, in combination with other drugs. Fentanyl killed over 200 people in BC in 2015. It was discovered in 1960 and has been used since the 1990s as a skin patch to give palliative care patients up to two or three days of pain relief. It is 100 times more potent than morphine and street heroin. Although some is prescribed but diverted, A warm, friendly, inclusive, place in Horseshoe Bay where you and your family will receive physician,counselling, physiotherapy attention and care.

most on the streets is smuggled out of labs in Mexico and China. The powder looks like heroin and over 70% of my patients test positive on urine screens, as it is mixed with heroin, cocaine, crystal meth or pot. Sometimes disguised as green oxycontin tablets, an amount the size of two grains of rice could be fatal to the naive experimenting casual user – as we have seen on the North Shore. “The love of money is the root of all evil,” and it is immensely profitable. It is easily carried and smuggled – one kilogram of fentanyl, the size of a melon, has a street price of $20,000,000! Heroin is 100 times as bulky. Fentanyl makes good business sense, and if clients die, there are plenty more to replace them.

Rodney Glynn-Morris is a Medical Doctor who has lived in West Vancouver since 1978. He holds the Certification of both the International and the Canadian Societies of Addiction Medicine.




Raising the bar for health and wellness delivery in the community, for the community

May 2016


Granny Get Your Glue Gun by

Vicki Gabereau


ust when you thought you had run out of ideas to captivate the kiddos, along comes this amazing collection of projects to keep the little darlings and you entertained for hours. I want to be 7 again, but this time I won’t eat the paste” - Vicki Gabereau, broadcaster/ TV personality Coming up with fun and manageable things to do with those visiting grandchildren can feel like a daunting task but two local ladies have come to the rescue with their new book, Granny Get Your Glue

Gun. West Vancouver authors, Maureen Goulet and Diana Budden, have created this easy-to-use, fun and entertaining book that is chock-a-block full of activities to share with your grandchildren ages 3-12. Baking, crafts, games, relaxation ideas and a keepsake page -it’s all here in this colourful photo-packed book. Make a popsiclestick puzzle, bake some dog biscuits for your favourite pup, make your own butter or construct a skyscraper with toothpicks and marshmallows! These are just a few of the 30+ ideas presented in Granny Get Your Glue Gun. All of the projects are neatly laid out with supply lists and simple instructions

6th Annual Rotary Ride for Rescue by

Karen Harrison


n Saturday, June 11, 2016, participants will ride a 17 km road biking course, or an 11 km off-road course finishing at Cypress Mountain Lodge, to raise funds for North Shore Rescue equipment and local Rotary projects. Challenge yourself or your team to win

great prizes for fastest times or most pledges raised. Registration is $40 before May 21 and $50 after that. Participants are asked to raise at least $100 in pledges, 100% of which goes to the cause. After the ride there will be an Event Expo and pancake breakfast put on by the Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise, the organizers of the event. To register or for more information go to

Photo: Courtesy of Bob Michiele 2015 riders/ Michael Upward, Judith Harder, Patty Szybunka and Lynn Harrison.

clearly indicated, including extra tips to create some variety. Each page ends with a funny quote to keep the grandparent amused. This book is a must-have for grandparents, or anyone who takes care of children and wants to play a more creative role, and it would make a great Mother’s Day gift; after all, grandmothers are mothers too! Visit www.grannygetyourgluegun. com to see where you can purchase this fabulous book or ask for it at your favourite bookstore. Then get down and have fun with those little Image: Courtesy of Simon Myers Granny Get Your Glue Gun. darlings’!

Community in Bloom Photo: Glenn Owen

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May 2016

St. Francis-in-the-wood Join us for fun on the fourth (4th) Saturday each month.

One hundred birthdays later by

• c ra


• fo o d

s g a me

• songs

• sto r ie

C  hris Stringer


ongtime St. Francis-in-the-Wood parishioner, Ellen Westcott, became a centenarian on Saturday, April 9, and family and friends turned out to celebrate with her.

Ellen and her late husband, Ronald, have worked tirelessly for the church over the years covering practically all duties, other than those performed by the minister. As recently as 2014 Ellen was in the office once a week helping to prepare the order of service booklets

for Sunday services. She is the recipient of the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster in recognition for her services. In addition to a letter from the Queen, Ellen received a birthday letter from the Governor of the Bank of England, where she was employed before immigrating to Canada. Happy Birthday, Ellen.


We hope to see you there!

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Photo: Courtesy of Louise Selby

May 2016


Caulfeild Cove Hall

Join us for an evening of Long Table Fine Dining by

Carolyn Wray


n Saturday, May 7, Caulfield Cove Hall will be transformed for a Long Table, farm-to-fork dining experience. Take a walk through the heavenly grounds of historic St Francis-in-theWood, where a warm welcome and a crisp glass of champagne awaits you. Listen to the incredible voice of Ingrid Mapson, and choose from a great selection of sommelierselected BC wines that will complement the menu. Feast on wild prawns with smoked paprika, lime, sesame seed and shiso or duck breast, black lentils with rhubarb, golden beets and lavender duck jus. Save room for

honey and chamomile cake with strawberries, praline, myer lemon and white chocolate, just a few of the eight expertly prepared dishes. Thanks to Chef John Ferris, the menu is fresh, seasonal and local. Many of the ingredients are heirloom vegetables and heritage meats. These are plants and animals that have traditionally been grown by generations of farmers. Because they are not hybridized, they are more flavourful, hardier and easier to produce. When a farmer produces heirloom foods he is investing in the future by keeping the item from becoming extinct. Guests will be seated at long tables and served family-style, ensuring a collective community vibe and lively conversations after every bite! Dinner will be a leisurely af-

fair, with proceeds going to Family Services of the North Shore. This would make a perfect Mother’s

Long table dining.

Chef John Ferris and the Collective Kitchen by

Chris Stringer


e are delighted to welcome John Ferris and his Collective Kitchen team to cater and serve. John began his fine dining culinary career under Chef Geddes Martin of the Inn at Ships Bay on Orcas Island. This was followed by Portland’s landmark Veritable Quandary and San Diego’s Nine-Ten Restaurant under award winning Chef Jason Knibb. Toronto was next, with Chef Christian Serebecbere, where John honed his pastry craft at the Patisserie Patachou. In 2006 he began 5 years at Araxi, Whistler as Chef de Cuisine. The Collective Kitchen brings together

John’s passion for Pacific Northwest Cuisine. His farm to table philosophy begins with simple elegance and a culinary standard that includes the highest quality food locally available. “We work collaboratively with local and regional farmers, artisans and purveyors. We respect their work and we want to serve the best that British Columbia has to offer,” says John.

the International Wine & Spirits competition in London where she is a competition judge.

Distinguished Sommelier wine selection

John’s menu will be complemented with wines selected by Katherine McEachnie, certified specialist of wine with the Society of Wine Educators and a French Wine scholar with the International Wine Guild. She serves as the Canadian Ambassador to

Net proceeds from the Long Table Fine Dining event are for the benefit of Our vision is a connected community where people care for one another. We annually serve close to 7400 individuals and families through a broad range of social services to children, youth, adults, couples, and families from a diverse array of cultural and economic backgrounds.

Photo: Courtesy of The Collective Kitchen John in his kitchen.

Day treat, or a fun ladies’ night, so be sure to reserve as soon as possible at

Photo: Adobe Stock images

Ingrid Mapson will entertain “Ingrid has a vocal instrument with a rich, round, warm, honeyed colour, and is very much at home in a variety of styles,” says renowned musical director, Clyde Mitchell.



May 2016

community personality

Murray Newman, a life aquatic by

Liz Rogers


ome kind of warm system hit Vancouver’s coast on Friday, March 18, 2016, and reminded Murray Newman how much he’d like to be on a warm beach on a faraway shore. Maybe he got there, his thirst for knowledge and innovation never quenched. His “bride”, Kathy Newman, continues to hold down the fort at Lighthouse Park, and at her husband’s Celebration of Life, held at the Vancouver Aquarium on March 31, she paid homage in her candid

manner: “It was a good marriage and to the very end, we looked across the table and liked what we saw.” Murray began his love affair with fish in Chicago, his birthplace, where he kept his own fish tanks, filled with angelfish, gouramies, guppies and armored catfish. The family cottage at Lovewell’s Pond in Maine provided good fishing but it was visits to the Shedd Aquarium that would pique his interest in tropical life. In WWII, teenage Murray served as Marine Corpsman with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific, where the people and fish of the region fascinated him. These experiences, and his lifelong interest in div-

Photo: Courtesy of Catherine Newman

Murray and Skana.

ing, inform his recently finished trilogy, Invasive Spirit. Taken from Vol. I, his wartime diary reads: “The voyage across the blue shimmering ocean, the day with its white glare of tropical sun, the night, dark; light emitted sometimes only from the sparks of the phosphorescent particles shooting up from the cut of the ship’s bow, then streaming along its sides in bright streaks. Silver flying fish skipped and frolicked in the free spray of the open Pacific. The days lost their individuality

and blended into a nuance of light and dark, heat and cold.” Professionally, Dr Murray Newman was best known for his work as Founding Director of the Vancouver Aquarium. It was here that he launched research programs on the Arctic and cetaceans, the latter now one of the longestrunning studies of marine mammals worldwide. The famed killer whale, Moby Doll, was a sticking point for these studies, culminating in a global shift in attitude toward what are now called orcas.

“He had a kind of eloquent diplomacy that made you feel like you were the only person in the room.”

Indonesia with a baby orangutan.

Photo: Courtesy of Catherine Newman

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May 2016


May memories of bygone days by

Ann Frost


South Pacific in the 1940s.

Dr Newman was ultimately interested in conservation and had the foresight to lead aquariums into the modern age; he left behind the circus entertainment of earlier live animal collections, replacing it with innovative conservation-driven learning centers. His vision was influenced by, and shared with, Japanese aquariums, with whom he developed long-lasting ties. His work with the aquarium ‘docents’ was as essential to his cause as was his relationship with logging tycoon H.R. MacMillan, through whom he would be the first recipient of the Fellowship in fisheries at UBC. Murray was also awarded the Order of Canada in 1979 and the Order of BC in 2006. Murray liked to move ahead with things and was known for his talent in garnering the necessary support for his projects. He had a kind of eloquent diplomacy that made you feel like you were the only person in the room. He was friendly and never took things personally; his response to people’s complaints was frequently the diffusive “don’t you just hate when that happens?” He affected all those who loved him with wry humour and sound judgment, good listening and simplification of what we complicate. He

Photo: Courtesy of Catherine Newman

mentored many people who now credit him with their success. In his last years, while his eyes declined, his sharp wit certainly did not. Murray and I had been working on his autobiographical work, Invasive Spirit; these books were effectively completed only days before his passing, and we are happy to announce that we will be pursuing posthumous publication. Murray showed me worlds I knew nothing about – Pacific island people, the Japanese, the war, fish – my favourite, the moon wrasse. We spent a lot of time chatting, debating, asking each other questions, and researching. I’ll always cherish these explorations. And his death has been, while saddening, kind of incredible. It’s a beautiful thing when a person actualizes their potential. This was Murray, and his boyish vitality was always at the surface when in the pursuit of knowledge. He didn’t fade away; he just took off and left – no fanfare. I don’t think we would have expected anything less from Murray Newman. If interested in learning more about Murray’s trilogy, Invasive Spirit, please email the writer, at

ay brought May Day with its parade, the May Queen and her attendants, all chosen from local elementary schools, and Maypole dancing to top it off. May was also when the ice cream trucks returned with their distinctive melodies and all kinds of wonderful ice cream treats including our favourite fudgsicles! If the wind was right, the 10 p.m. PGE train crossing over Cypress Creek, winding its way westward, sounded as though it was coming though the bedroom wall on Erwin Drive! House guests had to be forewarned. And sometimes, when it was clear and there was no wind, we thought we could hear the 9 o’clock gun from Stanley Park. May was too early to swim, but not too early to go to John Lawson Park, swing on the swings, have a picnic lunch and end the visit by putting pennies on the rail-

road track to be flattened by the oncoming train. Youngsters stayed close to home in those days. Even if they had their driver’s license, they almost never had cars of their own, but they delighted in transporting younger siblings to wherever they needed to go, giving mum a welcome break. The bus to Ambleside and Park Royal only ran every hour from Caulfeild, but there was always something fun to do nearer home anyway: rock climbing at Caulfeild, fishing in Cypress Creek, chasing seagulls on the beach, and maybe, just maybe, wading in the ocean and watching your toes turn blue. The water at Horseshoe Bay was pure enough for us to eat the crabs we caught there. I wonder if that’s still the case. And the first barbecues of the season with a barbecue that didn’t resemble the stainless steel giants of today. It was round, sat on three legs, and actually burned real charcoal briquettes. Those were the days!

Community in Bloom Photo: Glenn Owen

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May 2016

Ten students win international award for high marks by

Beverly Pausche


en former students from Gleneagles Ch’axáý Elementary school have received top awards from Trinity College London for their examination performance in an international public speaking program, first brought to the school in 2013. All ten students were recognized with highest distinction marks in the North American region, including the Bahamas, West Indies, USA and Canada for Communications Skills 5 exam, completed in 2014. Students recognized include: Lily Buhr, Sammy Gach, Finn Ganske, Eloi Gruget, Thomas Kusnierczyk, Oscar Mather, Colin MacNeily, Trinity Richardson, Connor Legg and Rojus Sinkunas. All but Sinkunas currently attend Rockridge Secondary school.

“The program was new to our school in 2013,” says Connor. “The skills we learned really help with a lot of different things, like getting a job and building confidence in new situations.” Colin agrees: “It’s great for speaking to adults. It really helps you to present yourself well, establish a good reputation and build networking skills.” Trinity uses the skills all the time, saying, “it makes a good impression on people when you take the time to strike up a conversation and take an interest in people.” Lily, who hated public speaking before she took the program in 2014, says the program helped most when meeting new people – for example, when she met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a recent visit to British Columbia. Now that all of the students are attending high school, the skills they learned continue to bring positive recognition. Sammy

won the grade 8/9 competition for public speaking at Rockridge, where he presented in front of the whole school. Eloi won Gold for his performance in 2016, and Oscar took it home in 2015. Building on three years of success, Gleneagles Ch’axáý Elementary school continues to offer the program free to all grade 6 and 7 students each year. The Gleneagles Ch’axáý Parent Advisory Council partially subsidizes the cost of adjudication, so that students who wish to undergo the formal exams are able to do so for a nominal cost of $50. About 60 students will be tested by adjudicators in May. Student winners. Top L-R: Thomas Kusnierczyk, Trinity Richardson, Lily Buhr. Bottom L-R: Connor Legg, Colin MacNeily, Sammy Gach. Absent: Oscar Mather, Finn Ganske, Eloi Gruget, Rojus Sinkunas.  Photo: Courtesy of WVSD

Every Third Bite: Beneficial Bees by

Anita Green


y sense of delight in spotting my first bumble bee of the year led me to reflect how interdependent our lives are with these pollinators. Just think, every third bite we eat is thanks to a bee.” - Elizabeth Elle I recently read the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award winning book, Bee Time Lessons from the Hive, by Mark Winston. I originally bought the book for my brother who was a beekeeper. The book brings back memories of visits to the hives, watching his calmness working with thousands of honeybees with bare hands while I watched uneasily from a distance. After three decades of researching and working with bees, Winston shares how

the apiary “slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe”. There is much to learn from the bees on how we interact with each other and natural ecosystems. We can no longer ignore the human impact on bees through what he calls “industrial farming” practices that rely on mono-cultures and toxins. Of particular interest is a Vancouver study that found that wild bees in the city were more diverse and abundant than in surrounding farmland areas. In the city, there is limited pesticide use and many bee-friendly ecosystems such as unmanaged parkland, right of ways, and undeveloped land. Backyards that include native plants can also be bee-friendly habitats with a diversity of all-season flowering plants. Winston concludes, “as we come to know bees, we see an echo of ourselves”.


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Bee gathering pollen.

Photo: Courtesy of Marshall Bauman


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May 2016


mountains to sea

To Bee or not to Bee Elspeth Bradbury


ob Dykstra, who lives in Gleneagles, is a professor of journalism and a selfconfessed wanna-bee. He likes to brew beer and he likes to grow vegetables on the roof of his house (it’s flat). He also likes to stir honey into his tea and for decades he has yearned to tend a hive or two. David Roberts, who lives in Lower Caulfeild, has been a lawyer and a beekeeper for well over half a century. When it comes to any kind of animal husbandry, Rob takes the responsibility seriously. He is cautious by nature. He knows that beekeeping is complicated and he wants to be well prepared. He does his research and he attends classes but still he is hesitating. What he really wants is an advisor, a sort of bee buddy. David has invited Rob to see his hives and to talk beekeeping. It’s a sunny afternoon in March, the daffodils are out in force and so are the worker bees - all female - ferrying back and forth in front of the hives with single-minded dedication. Their gentle humming is the sound of summer. Rob eyes up David’s sunny garden and wonders if his own wooded plot is too shady, too lacking in flower power. He has thought of putting a couple of hives alongside the vegetables on the roof. David is dubious. As long as there is morning sun to rouse the sleepy bees, a little summer shade can be an asset. And there are plenty of flowery gardens in Gleneagles aren’t there? These energetic creatures will forage for up to four miles. He suggests, however, that three hives would be the ideal number and he doubts if Rob

is prepared to carry honey-laden 30 pound ‘supers’ down a stepladder. The rooftop idea may not be perfect after all, but on the plus side, it would solve any potential problems with bears or other uninvited visitors. David has installed an electric fence to deter bears, but raccoons and rodents haven’t been an issue for him. Other unwanted visitors include varroa mites. These, David agrees, are a problem. They were introduced from Japan more than twenty years ago and are extremely hard to control without chemical intervention. In his hives, David installs netting panels that trap dislodged mites but he also treats the bees each spring before the honey flow begins. At this point, David decides to check that the queen in one of his hives is still active. He dons a protective suit and warns Rob to stand back a little. Good advice! As he dismantles the hive, the gentle hum turns to an outraged buzz and clouds of confused and extremely defensive insects whirl around him. Fortunately, all is well, the supers are restacked and life in the hive can return to normal. Hive maintenance is one of Rob’s main concerns. He likes to take off in his sailboat from time to time and wonders if husbandry duties would tie him down. They don’t seem to worry David. From March until the end of June, when he harvests the first crop of honey, he tries to check on the hives every week but after that he finds little to do until the second crop of darker, stronger tasting honey is ready in September. Two-week boat trips? No problem! So in the end, should Rob take the plunge? “Oh yes!” says David immediately. He glances up at his hives, which are once again humming quietly in the spring sunshine, and he smiles. “It’s just such fun.” David suggests that wanna-bees like Rob should join a bee club and read John Gruszka’s book Beekeeping in Western Canada.

David and Rob discuss beekeeping.

Photo: Courtesy of Marshall Bauman

David begins to dismantle the ‘supers’.

Photo: Courtesy of Marshall Bauman



May 2016

our history

Fisherman’s Cove and Eagle Island Caulfeild History Francis Mansbridge


arry Kolthammer and his wife set up a store/post office with boat rentals in Fisherman’s Cove in 1924. Katie Carter recalls dancing on their deck to the sound of a gramophone playing “Moonlight and Roses”. Pam Fearn remembers in the 1930s “rowing up a little creek [probably Eagle Creek] that was situated just east of where all the boats are moored now... The trees met overhead and made a cool, green bower. In the fall salmon spawned there.” Captain John Canessa purchased Eagle Island from its first settler, August Nelson, in 1888 for $37.50. Originally it was a two-minute walk over muddy flats from the mainland at low tide, but dredging now

Eagle Island circa 1940.

allows the passage of boats. Thirty-one upscale properties, with two undeveloped, are shoehorned into the island’s six hectares. In 1968 Gordon Keillor designed and built a hand-cranked cable ferry for Eagle Island residents to access the mainland, which at four by one and a half metres was said to be the world’s smallest public ferry. In its short life this ferry amassed numerous anecdotes of drunks falling off and housewives losing their groceries overboard. Nothing beats the story of the fate of a group of older people who overloaded the ferry and took an unscheduled swim when the boat overturned. By 1978 it was in bad repair and had ceased operation. Residents now generally have their own boats, but retain a wary eye against encroachments on their domain. Proposals in 2008 for a bridge connecting to the mainland were rejected in case it allow unwanted visitors access. The days of cottages and woodland

Photo: Courtesy of West Vancouver Memorial Library

seclusion have been replaced by multi-million dollar homes. A house on Eagle Island is now for sale for $5.998 million, although that does include mooring space for a 50 ft. yacht. But much of the area’s natural

beauty can still be experienced. Pam Fearn recalls the phosphorescence in the water after sunset. “Some nights you could even see it dripping like diamonds off the oars of the boat.”

The friendliest little yacht club in the west With moorage for 87 vessels, both power and sail, up to a maximum of 38 feet, sailing is a core activity with racing occurring on Wednesday evenings and Sundays. The agle Harbour Yacht Club (EHYC) is junior sailing club is particularly strong. A known for its friendliness and fam- sailing school, for beginners through to high ily orientation. Founded in 1969, it performers, is open to all youngsters over continues a tradition, begun in 1926, of the age of 6 and operates during July and August. Confirming its excelcommunity involvement. The lence, one of the juniors clubhouse was previhas now progressed ously the home of to membership Charles Smith, of the Canadian who operated the Olympic sailing Eagle Harbour Tea team. Rooms, Post OfBuilt in 2004, fice and store. He the beautiful new established boating in the harbour by proclubhouse is a popular venue for weddings and other viding small boat rentals in Photo: Ian McBeath social activities, including wine & the summer. Eagle Harbour. bridge clubs, themed dinners, and The original yacht club looked very different from the one today, with boats of course the annual Lobster Boil. moored only on buoys. Protecting vessels EHYC has around 190 members, some from southwesterly winds was problem- active with full moorage rights, and some atic. Eventually a barge, purchased in 2001, social members. A new membership categoformed an effective breakwater. The com- ry has recently been established for standbination of the breakwater and the docks up paddle boarders. EHYC welcomes new provides protection to both the vessels and members with a passion for boating and the the beach and has led to the uniquely pretty Eagle Harbour community. More informasetting that is Eagle Harbour. tion can be found at by

Ian McBeath


Your health matters. Make it a top priority. ON TIME • UNHURRIED • COMPREHENSIVE

Contact us today Terri Thompson at or 604-707-2273 West Vancouver, 200-545 Clyde Ave Vancouver, 400-1128 Hornby Street

May 2016


travel notes

Top ten touristy Tofino travel tips by

Laurisse Noel

I am far from a Tofino expert, but after numerous visits, I know my way around some spots that provide a pristine experience of the westernmost coast of BC. • Cathedral Grove: Meander through old growth forests and hug the biggest tree. • Wildside Grill: Upon your arrival, great hunger can be met with many French fries at Tofino’s fish and chips hub. • Radar Hill & Beaches hike: Choose your own adventure. Option A (Hill) offers

a stupendous view of the ocean, nearby islands and mountains, while option B (beach hike) will leave you muddy and exhausted after three hours of gallivanting down, then up a mountain, exploring tide pools. • Kayaking adventure: A variety of companies offer kayak tours to beautiful forests on little islands or simply explore the coasts around town. While the tours can be a tad pricey, I would highly recommend them due to a prior capsizing experience. Tofino’s waves can be relentless! • Surfing at Chesterman Beach: Despite the January cold, I was instantly hooked and was very proud that evening to have

My love of fishing started young Rafe Reminiscing Rafe Mair I loved to fish and I don’t know why. My zest for hunting was quickly over when I shot a squirrel. I looked at that sad little bugger and couldn’t stop muttering: Why Rafe? Why did you do that? I never fired at another animal again even though my wartime service as an Army Cadet and a Sea Cadet taught me to be a pretty good shot. I had no such sentimental feelings over fish until much, much later in life. As a boy I couldn’t sleep before a day of fishing, so excited was I. I couldn’t eat breakfast fast enough so I could help my Dad get the outboard ready. Just how helpful I was as a preschooler was questionable! It did seem that the harder I worked to get


my parents going, the longer it took. I’d look at the boats going out through The Gap to our favourite fishing spots and despair that they’d get ‘em all. I was competitive as hell - never so much with other fishermen, but with the fish itself. He was my enemy and if he got away, I was disconsolate until I could get my line back in the water. I became, over time, a good fisherman and later an expert fly fisherman and fly tier. I remember, as a child, going to the late, great fishing emporium, Harkley and Haywood, and watching, fascinated, as the kind old Scots lady (probably she was about 40) tied flies even though she didn’t fish herself. I remained competitive until middle age when I began to buy classic fly fishing books. One of the first was about Isaak Walton, no fly fisherman, who admonished a companion who was most unhappy about losing a fish, saying, “No man can lose what he never had.” It didn’t cure me but it made it easier!




a thoroughly chafed neck from my surprisingly warm wetsuit. Chesterman is a perfect beginner’s beach. Do your best to make friends with someone who has made a beach fire. • Ocean Village hot tub: If you are fortunate enough to be staying here, the hot tub access is divine and a necessity post winter surfing. • Shelter: West coast dining at its best. A homey atmosphere throughout the restaurant which offers a bar area, more private dining spaces and a beautiful deck. • Tofino Brewing: Bring a growler or two and do not leave before trying the Spruce Tree Ale. • Fish Net hike and views: At the end of industrial way (past Tofino Brewing), there is a tiny path into the forest. Stick to the orange markers for an adventure that suspends you thirty feet up a tree to admire the surrounding forest, ocean and islands. • The Tofitian Coffee for the ride home: Self explanatory.

Photo: Courtesy of Laurisse Noel Post capsize during a kayaking adventure.

Photo: Courtesy of Geordie Goodman Laurisse tree-hugging at Cathedral Grove.

Fish Net Hammock Views.Photo: Courtesy of Laurisse Noel



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May 2016

A mother’s thoughts on this Mother’s Day Domenica Mastromatteo


s we celebrate Mother’s Day, I wonder if other women have a clear understanding of what motherhood means to them? Defining the word is challenging for me. Author Rachel Cusk describes motherhood as “a particularly vulnerable area. It’s an open wound, really. A woman is exposed to being turned into a different kind of person by the experience of motherhood.” For me, motherhood is everything that happens in my heart. If I were to describe it in just one word, it would be a long groan.

My motherhood, my open wound, evokes the sound of letting go. I gave birth to a wonderful new life (three times), only to realize that it isn’t mine. New life unfolds without my plans, my expectations, my need for perfection. Kahlil Gibran says, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. Your Children are not your children. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” Motherhood is a challenge. I feel as though I’m becoming undone as I lose control and let go of the world I knew and the world I planned. I used to think motherhood was about having children, but it’s about surrendering a little more every day to life as it is.

Community in Bloom Photo: Glenn Owen

Photo: Courtesy of Carmen Tome

Domenica and son, John.

Thanks for supporting our art contest! Scarlet’s Art Scarlet Roth


’m happy to announce that the winners of the Abstract contest are Mrs. Crowdis’ Grade 5/6 class from Gleneagles Cha’xay Elementary School. Here is a photo that shows a sample of the class’s pastel abstract explosions of colour! I wish I could show you all 28! A fun prize will be delivered to Mrs Crowdis’ class soon. Thank-you to all the artists that supported my art contest this year. We’ll be breaking for summer. Look for me again in September! Photo: S. Roth Abstract art from Mrs Crowdis’ class.

“Ferry Blossoms”

“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

May 2016

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May 2016

West Vancouver Beacon  

Newspaper publication for West Vancouver

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