Many good reasons to live on Bowen
• Welcome to year 23 of Island Neighbours: stories of Island history, people, activities and events. To share an item, phone Lois at 947-2440 or e-mail to: email@example.com
• This week, I want to send an early Valentine to Bowen Island. I’ll list some of the reasons that I enjoy living here. Think of my list as sort of a public valentine to share with others in the community. These items are in no particular order but may prompt you to think about things you especially appreciate. If you made a list, what would be on it?
• I love Bowen Island because our small community lets everyone be visible and appreciated yet still allows the reclusive folks to live the quiet life they want.
• I love Bowen Island because people are relaxed and friendly. Whether one has lived here for thirty years or thirty months, the size of our community allows residents to know names and faces.
•I love the way that the Bowen community is continually growing and changing and yet it keeps its ongoing concern for preserving the best of Bowen.
• I love Bowen’s general tolerance for the many different lifestyles and personalities who make up our island world.
• I love the fact that Bowen is not just a place marked by lines on a map but is a real, definable location that you have to reach out to get to. How good we all feel when we’ve left town after a full day and are finally on the familiar Queen of Capilano. just minutes away from a totally different atmosphere.
• I love the way that Bowen tries hard to shape its future in a benign and humane way
• I love Bowen’s hitchhikers. Whether it’s someone running a little late for a ferry or a couple of teen-agers hiking home from one of those nighttime mid-island gatherings, the hitchhiker is part of a family you know or know of.
• I appreciate the way that the sound of the ambulance or fire engine sends shivers up our spines. The shivers acknowledge that someone we know may be in peril and we are concerned for his or her safety and well-being.
•I love Bowen’s on-going list of strong characters that take on community projects, determined to make a vision come true. One by one, all the obstacles are toppled and the vision comes to pass. The achievements may be large or small but each one benefits Bowen in some way. Our history is full of local heroes. Commander Red helped get Bowen a car ferry. Maisie Adams led the way to a public library. David Smith began the movement which created Crippen Park. Jacqueline Bakker’s dream created the Memorial Garden. The Collins family have guarded Bowen’s heritage. Bruce Russell ‘s leadership made the island golf course a reality. There are many, many others whose work has been or is being recorded in the Bowen Archives. An in-depth knowledge of recent Bowen history would identify an impressive list of contemporary achievers who have given us significant community amenities. Just look around you at the community heroes.
• My own personal valentine goes to Eagle Cliff’s Katie Carter, whose family began twenty years of happy island summers in 1945. In 1965, Katie and her husband, Dick retired to Bowen. They saw several areas in which they could be useful. Dick was a painter while Katie’s major concern was island history. There was no written history but there were still a number of old-timers who had lived an exciting part of Bowen’s life and had much to share. On February 1, 1967, Katie convened 15 women in her living room and the Historians were born. They planned to be an action group so the name Bowen Island Historical Society seemed too passive. Instead, they called themselves the Historians. Each left the first meeting with assignments.
It’s taken 46 years but Bowen has a written history, Irene Howard’s book Bowen Island: 1872-1972. plus Reflections, a lovely coffee table book of historical photographs, a two-story cottage housing the museum and archives plus an adjacent logger’s display cottage – all achieved by fund-raising and hard work. (and thanks go to two women who have been part of the success story from the beginning. founder Anne Thompson and writer Irene Howard.
• Ten Years Ago in the Undercurrent of February 7, 2003, singer/songwriter Shari Ulrich presented the Bowen Island Cultural Master plan to the January 27 meeting of the Committee of the Whole. The cultural master plan, funded by the municipality in 2001, was developed with the aid of professional consultants via workshops, focus groups and a survey. The 89-page document contained four themes and nine recommendations.
• Graham Ritchie reported on the challenges and difficulties of creating an affordable Abbeyfield independent living facility. The fourth annual Endangered Species variety show was a two night, licensed adult event: its lineup included the Texicanos, Contraband, Wayne Kozak’s Jazz Band and much more. • Bowen’s Lifelong Learning Society, currently housed in the renovated Boulevard Cottage, reported on sustainability issues. •
• The Undercurrent of February 14 announced that David Podmore would be the speaker at the Chamber AGM. Podmore was to focus on Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic bid. As Team Leader, his Venue Development group was to guide preliminary planning for more than $600 million in new infrastructure for the 2010 bid.
• The Cape Roger Curtis Trust Society reported they had gained official “Society” status on January 131, 2002. Their website and board were listed.
• A provincial discussion paper that talks of a “working forest” that would “ increase the allowable annual cut over time” had some people wondering about the sanctity of Bowen’s second growth trees.
• The Last Word: Best wishes to you and your Valentine!