I hope you all had a merry Christmas and that your holiday season was filled with family, friends and good cheer.
The weather cooperated, at least here in Barriere, to let us have a white Christmas without the ice storms that some other areas suffered.
I spoke to Geordie Salle at Manna’s 100th birthday party, and she said the lights were out at their home in Kamloops on Boxing Day morning, most likely due to the freezing rain that had happened Christmas night. Unlike when they lived here in Barriere they were not prepared, and had no flashlight handy.
It made for an interesting time getting up and about. They managed through it though, and were here for the party. It was great to see so many members of both Manna’s and Geordie’s families and friends out to celebrate Manna’s birthday. Many thanks to all the organizers of the party. It was a very fitting tribute to a man that has done so many things for the community over his long lifetime.
Speaking of saying thanks, we should all recognize Barriere council members for all their hard work and efforts over the past year. It has been a busy year with many changes to how our community is run. There were issues to work through, projects to be either completed or started, and events to attend both here and away.
Council has put in some long hours serving our community. The coming year will be even busier, and I expect council will continue to serve Barriere as they always have.
District staff has also continued to serve the needs of our community, as they have done for the past few years. Our administration has put together a new zoning bylaw, revamped the business licence bylaw and is working on a myriad of other changes to our fee for service bylaws. Change is never easy, but with hard work and innovative thinking things can happen.
Barriere took over the responsibility for our local roads this year. Council awarded the winter maintenance contract to Purcha and Son Ltd. On Boxing Day, even Lorne Purcha, who was here visiting, was put to work running the grader to clear out the parking lot at the Fall Fair grounds and help with the Christmas day snowfall on the roads.
From feedback I have heard and read, it would seem most residents think the roads are in great shape. The shoulders are cleaned off promptly, so that pedestrians and those using mobility aids can keep clear of the traffic, and driveways are not generally being plowed in like in the past. The sidewalk on Barriere Town Road bridge is even being shoveled off! Great work Mr. Purcha and team.
Any community no matter how big or small relies on its volunteers. Barriere is very fortunate to have a large number of people that volunteer in most every aspect of the community.
Under the direction of Chief Kirkwood the Barriere Volunteer Fire Department membership has grown over the past few years and is well able to serve the needs of Barriere and the surrounding District. We rely on their hard work, dedication and continuing service to our community.
Unfortunately, other organizations are feeling the pressure of an aging volunteer base. We all can relate to how the pressures of work and family can leave us with the feeling that we have no time to give. I urge you all to do your best in the coming years to try and help where you can. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and to help your community grow and prosper.
The North Thompson Fall Fair is always ready to welcome new members and the Communities in Bloom committee can always use a hand or new ideas if you are unable to physically help out.
These are only two of the many organizations that need your assistance. Any time you can give will be most appreciated.
Happy New Year to you all. May 2014 bring you and those that you love health, happiness and prosperity.
Take time through the year to appreciate what is good in life, and share your good fortune with those that need a hand.