Snug Cove’s past and future
The Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Society (Bowen Heritage) held their AGM on April 1 and 35 members gathered in Collins Hall to elect their new board and honour some long-serving members. The society also signed their 100th member and heard a talk on the role of heritage in the revitalization of Snug Cove.
At the start of the meeting, membership secretary Maureen Nicholson told the crowd that the society signed their 100th member. That person turned out to be Gaetan Royer, Metro Vancouver’s manager of planning, environment and parks. The former Port Moody city manager is relatively new to the job and the society praised him for his willing approach to Bowen projects, including restoration of the cottages.
The Union Steamship Cottages come under the auspices of Metro Vancouver and, thus far, two cottages have been fully restored and are available for renting.
In the way of business, a motion was carried on working toward expanding the definition of the boundaries of the heritage precinct in Snug Cove to include the festival field, boardwalk, Davies Orchard and cottages, the Old General store (library), the Boulevard cottage, two seaside cottages and the causeway. The board and society intend to further discuss the motion and to take their considerations to council.
The new board voted in includes Michael Barber, Rob Cairns, Maureen Nicholson, Caroline Goodson Parker and Karen Wristen, who enters her second year as president. Lifetime memberships were handed out to Marion Moore, Jean Jamieson, John Riley, Allie Drake and Daphne Shaw, all of who have served in numerous capacities since the society’s inception in 1989.
The meeting ended with a talk from councillor and long-time islander Wolfgang Duntz, who called himself a “keen observer” and said that what Bowen needs is an identity beyond the ferry, one that “fits current and future needs and makes people want to come to visit and to return.”
Duntz compared Bowen to the small village he grew up in near Hannover in Germany and, like that community, he said Bowen’s proximity to a larger centre in Vancouver can be used to draw visitors. For him, the manner of doing so is a vibrant Snug Cove that includes arts and culture, an educational component, and strong ties to Bowen’s heritage.
He also noted Bowen needs to rely on volunteers, like those in the Heritage Preservation Society, and not on funding from a small tax base. He said doing so would be a return to the way Bowen has traditionally prospered, with citizens working together for the betterment of the community.
The society is conducting a Bees & Blossoms photo contest and prizes will be awarded at the Union Steamship Days in July. Contact the society through their website at bowenheritage.org for details on the contest and to become volunteer member number 101, and counting.