Submitted by Marlet Ashley
Most of us resist change. Long-time Valley residents are no exception when it comes to the influx of newcomers to the area.
How are these outsiders going to affect us? What are they going to change? How will they contribute to the community? These may be questions long-time residents would like answered.
Piet Rutgers of Royston is one such new arrival who, in just two years, has made a niche for himself in his new home. Retired from his job as director of planning and operations for the Vancouver parks board, Rutgers has taken up the torch of community volunteerism with the regional district. He was appointed a member of the electoral Area A advisory planning commission and has championed such causes as acquiring funding for the Royston Waterfront Trail.
Rutgers has become involved because he appreciates the natural beauty of the area, and the new friends and neighbours who have been so hospitable.
“We’ve been welcomed with open arms, and we are committed to maintaining the area not only for its human inhabitants but for the plants and animals — natural residents — as well,” said Rutgers, who is concerned about the estuary near his home.
Along with his community involvement, Rutgers also has time to develop his passion — arts and crafts furniture. He has converted a 1920s logger’s cabin on his property into the Sandpiper Arts and Crafts Furniture workshop. He hand-crafts buffets, desks, tables, and print and magazine stands.
His Blackcomb Buffet features black wenge edges on a floating tip and tapered legs. Wenge pulls are on drawers and doors.
“The floating top appears to levitate above the main structure, and the tops of the legs magically reappear after invisibly rising through the levitation field,” he said.
For the second year his workshop has been selected as an exhibit at the Filberg Festival, for which Rutgers has created a series of new boxes.