I spent most of last week doing what the rest of you were doing: sweating. I worked, I rode my bike, I attended several community events as outlined below, but mostly I sweated.
On Wednesday, I stopped off at the Queensborough Community Centre after work to see what the conversation was around the Eastern Queensborough Neighbourhood Node plan. Both City Planners and the Developer were on site to talk to Q’boro residents and answer questions about the plan we discussed in Council a few days earlier. The room was full (which is great to see in any Open House!) and seemed generally positive. The most frequent comments I heard from residents were concerns related to traffic (no surprise there) and a general feeling that local retail couldn’t come to eastern Q’Boro soon enough!
On Thursday, I was able to attend the NWSS graduation ceremony. I serve on the City’s Youth Advisory Committee and have spent some time meeting Youth Ambassadors and other volunteers in the school community, so there were a few familiar faces walking across the stage. Or, in a few cases, strutting across… I was only a little chagrined to see that mine was the only bike in the rack, amongst the couple of thousand students, parents, siblings, supporters and dignitaries at Queens Park Arena that night! Well, I guess it was kind of a fancy-dress occasion.
The second place where my bike was the only one in the rack that night was at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal City Curling Club. I’m not on the Board anymore, but the new team is doing a great job. We had a very successful season: our ice is basically sold out, our leagues are nearly full, our Junior and Little Rocks programs are as successful as they have ever been, and revenues were stable enough that we were able to retire the last of our debt after a few years of solid financial work. I sure am proud of the volunteers and staff of the Club – the best curling facility in the Lower Mainland by far.
Saturday a few members of Council and the New Westminster Youth Ambassadors attended a fundraiser at the New Westminster Lawn Bowling Club. Council was challenged by the Ambassadors to a mini-tournament in the hot afternoon sun. The team of Trentadue and Johnstone showed their rookie status by being outscored by about 13-1 over two games. However, the Mayor and Councillor Harper showed their experience and guile by taking a tight final game, and securing the Challenge Cup for City Hall:
In there defense, the second place Ambassador team had graduated High School two days previously, and were working on a combined 4 hours of sleep.
Saturday was such a nice evening, that @MsNWimby and I spent the evening on a long walk along the River, enjoying two exceptional New Westminster lounging activities, one at the Urban Beach at Pier Park:
Another at the far western end of the Boardwalk, where the first Biennale piece provides a unique lounging / river watching / selfie / breath-holding-contest / being-a-goof experience:
On Sunday, Council joined several thousand people at Ryall Park in Queensborough to celebrate the 9th annual Nagar Kirtan and celebration honouring the 5th Sikh Guru , Guru Arjan Dev Ji organized by the Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar. As always with the Sikh community, the crowds were huge, the music engrossing, the organization remarkable and efficient, and the food plentiful, delicious, and free. It is an amazing event the entire community is welcome to, and Council was honoured to be invited to the stage to address the assembly. If you get a chance to attend a Nagar Kirtan (Sikh Parade), do so!
Finally, the weekend ended with the celebration of the first birthday of one of New Westminster’s best new businesses. Steel and Oak Brewing has had a remarkable first year, and has clearly found a winning formula: exceptional product, a talented and adventurous brewmaster, an eye for design, social media savvy, and a gregarious and professional staff. Happy Birthday S&O and congratulations to Jorden and James. It’s been fun watching you guys succeed after all of the hard work and stress of the previous year!