Looking forward to the year ahead

Last year at this time I was sitting in a fancy little café in Rome, Italy. It was a wonderful trip that took me 20 years to make.  My husband Nick and I took our son and grandson along to introduce them to great-uncles, aunts and numerous cousins who live there. March was a little breezy in Italy but all we needed was a light spring coat to keep warm.

Flowering peach trees blazed colourful waves of pink across the landscape and lemon trees loaded with yellow fruit added more colour to the mountainside as we drove the picturesque Amalfi coastline.

2010 was a great year for me not only because of the trip to England and Italy but also because it was filled with a lot of interesting activities. I attended the Writer’s Conference and met and bonded with a group of talented women with great writing skills led by award winning author Betty Hegerat.

I was invited to a party for MP Jim Abbott at Fort Steele and got to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and actually have a short conversation with him; I got to interview interesting people and hear about their lives and ambitions including our own Olympian Emily Brydon.

I got to greet the Olympic Torch at City Hall and deliver the welcome speech – that was truly an exciting moment.

I went to Whistler for the first time and saw first hand how they have designed their city centre to be like one huge piazza in Italy. Everyone walks, no vehicles allowed in that space that is filled with outdoor patios and cobbled streets, potted flowers and decorative trees.

I got to be a judge in a pageant that turned out to be as much fun as it was work. The gals that put on this six month course for high school girls that culminated in a one day pageant are doing this again in Elkford. I am sure this year’s event will be even better than last year’s. The only difficulty in being a judge is that all the girls were lovely and talented but points were awarded for more than just looks and talent, ability for public speaking and responding to questions on the spot was also a criterion. One thing for sure all the girls who participated last year learned skills that will carry them through for life. Kudos goes to Elkford for sponsoring such a wonderful event.

One thing I’m happy about is the rehabilitation of the oil derrick site at the Chamber.

Through a chance meeting with a provincial Oil and Gas Lead Inspector from Kamloops the year before I was able to garner his interest in the project and through his knowledge apply to the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge Fund.  Their grant plus local donations allowed the necessary changes to materialize.

Another exciting turn of events was the work the miner’s walk committee had been doing for the past six years finally came to fruition with the donation of $100,000 from Teck Coal and the other smaller but very important donations as well as all the in kind donations offered that have been coming in from different sources.

The money has allowed us to hire a project manager and designer; come up with a great exhibit that once finished will get us a lot of attention, showcase our beginnings and most importantly honour and thank the mining history and the people of this area.

Yes, 2010 was certainly one terrific year; I just don’t know how I can make 2011 top those achievements but boy it’s sure going to be fun trying.