COLUMN: There’s lots to do in Castlegar

A busy week on the social calendar

GORD TURNER

Spots in Time

I was chatting with an acquaintance a while ago, and he told me he couldn’t find anything to do. “Nothing ever happens in Castlegar,” he complained. And I thought of all the events I had on my calendar for that week.

On the Monday, I had the Heritage Credit Union AGM listed, and so my wife and I spent a Monday evening listening to speeches and motions. It was a difficult meeting to be part of, but we learned a few things about a concept labelled “amalgamation”. We also heard the phrase “lack of communication” a few times. Kim’s tasty finger-foods ended the evening, so that was worth waiting for.

On Tuesday, I had my 32,000 km check-up for my Toyota Venza, and that took over two hours of my times. That same evening I attended a Castlegar Evening Rotary Club meeting, and afterwards I participated in the Donna Schmidt Lung Cancer Prevention Society AGM. I was pleased to learn about the new high-end devices to mitigate radon contamination.

On Thursday, I had two events listed that we wanted to attend. First, we went to the Castlegar Golf Course where the Chamber of Commerce was holding its monthly “Business after Business” event. The host was Florio’s Nineteenth Restaurant where we met good friends and had a wonderful gathering. It included complimentary drinks, excellent appy foods, and pleasant connections to all sorts of people we hadn’t seen in awhile.

While the Nineteenth Restaurant event carried on, we slipped away to our second booking. We arrived at the Castlegar Library in time for the reading and slide show by renowned Nelson author, Diana Morita Cole. For an hour and a half, she entertained us with stories about growing up in a Japanese-American family which had been displaced during the second-World War. The stories indicated how badly the family was treated, and her dramatic rendition of her brother’s work as a telegram delivery boy was quite intense.

On Friday we had two more events listed. We attended the Selkirk College graduation, arriving ahead of time. However, the parking lots were already full, and the college gym was completely packed. Fortunately, we had reserved seating, and we enjoyed the ceremony of piped-in grads in purple and gold — over 400 of them. The speeches were remarkable, particularly by the First Nations outstanding alumna, Sharon McNeil. Her story about coyote and the bone needle and its symbolic connection to darkness and light was particularly applicable to the students’ future lives.

We sauntered over to the Selkirk College pit for a reception and pleasant conversation before heading off to our second booking. Arriving at the Castlegar United Church, we were greeted by the smell of dinner and an array of silent auction items. Again, we conversed with many people we hadn’t seen in a while and checked out the fundraising items.

After the meal, we participated in a hilarious live auction using play-money we had all been given. Various church members had donated 22 items that participants could bid on, and with Tim as the auctioneer-extraordinaire, everyone had a fine time trying to outbid each other for muffins or a pontoon ride.

The Spring-Fling in downtown Castlegar was the next event of note beginning on Saturday. So you see, my friend’s comments that nothing ever happens in Castlegar is not true — well, not for us anyway. I suppose it depends on what you want to be involved in and if you’re actively looking for things to do. Some weeks we’re even busier than the one I’ve described — and we’re supposed to be retired.

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