By George

For those of you who might indeed believe George has lost all his marbles keep your knuckles down and have faith in your own skills as marble masters! No, I do not mean that other George, I am looking in my mirror.

You may, or may not know that Tumbler Ridge was in need of a service club back in the days when there were no living quarters for the town residents and the Lions Club stepped up to the plate and began a venture that is still here today. You may know that most of the nearby towns have Kiwanians, Elks, and a host of other organizations whose sole purpose is service to others, and a fortunate town will have an active group of churches, Thrift stores, and Chambers of Commerce as well.

In its infancy the town planners were looking at the young people coming to the two coal mines and prepared to give them the best facilities they could build to retain these workers. Hence a lovely community centre, and paved roads, and good quality living quarters as well as schools, health care quarters with dentists, doctors, and nurses. The town was blessed with forward thinking planners and, although they did not do a perfect job, this town was a jewel for us to respect and manage.

You will also know that when the mines found world prices for coal plunged, our two mines folded their tents and silently stole into the night. Which left those of us who chose to stay, in a bit of a dilemma. No income from the miners and no ability to maintain all the facilities we had inherited. By an extremely lucky stroke, our mayor, Clay Iles was at a conference in Quebec, met the man in charge of Central Mortgage and Housing, and, after explaining the problem, received immediate action. He contacted Al Galbraith and suddenly he, using his skills at reclaiming empty towns, had a flood of applications for purchase of the well built homes lying empty and forlorn! A long story cut short.

Now, with coal prices away up, new mines are here, and the town is doing well in most area of interest. There are a few things needed which the town fathers are attempting to address.

Yes, we need dentists, and we need to understand that Northern Health functions best in Prince George so most of the fully advanced medical machinery such as kidney dialyse and heart transplant skills are not to be found in local hospitals in this part of the Peace Country. One part of any successful community will have to be facilities which cater to those people who need more than a house to live in forever. The Lions Club has agreed that there is a definite need for Seniors Accommodation and they want to help create a solution. Will you respond?

Rather than trying to fill in the blanks today, may I tell you that, when the first person to be our town leader, called a Commissioner at that time, became aware that, in the planning for the community centre, they had left out the swimming pool. He suggested that, if we worked fast, raised a hundred thousand dollars, they might consider adding a pool. A bit ?Pie in the Sky?? Yes, but, along came two little kids who wanted a pool and the Tumbler Ridge Indoor Swimming Pool Society was found. You will know ?The Rest of the Story?.

So, without expanding on it, why not work toward having accommodation for the older folk who do not want to leave this beautiful spot? The Lions will work toward getting such a facility, with your help.