The Comox Valley Walk of Achievement is performing a valuable service.
While it’s easy to second-guess the selections of Jackie Green, Dave Durrant, Erik Eriksson and Neil Havers, there’s no question the committee is recognizing deserving Comox Valley expatriates.
Inductees from previous years were popular radio announcer Red Robinson, scientist Dr. Fred Leung, respected former MLA Stan Hagen, scientist Dr. Roberts A. Smith and author Jack Hodgins.
This year’s honouree is the first from the film industry.
Actress and producer Kim Cattrall revisited G.P. Vanier Secondary School during her recent busy itinerary.
An unexpected but heart-warming gesture was a bursary in her name that went to Jean Paul Jesse Polito, a Grade 12 drama student. Polito and other Vanier drama students repaid the Golden Globe Award-winner with a 10-minute skit highlighting her career in television, film and theatre.
The routine, which the students reprised several days later at the Native Sons’ Hall during an induction ceremony, resoundingly stressed the Comox Valley every one of the many times it was mentioned. And that’s fair.
To listen to Cattrall, spending some crucial formative years in the Comox Valley still means a lot to her.
The bursary was her way to give back and support young people interested in drama just as she was at their age. Although Vanier had no drama department when she studied there, she said the school supported her interest.
She says she still remembers her friendships and the school’s support.
And she still appreciates what she calls “the sweet air” of the Comox Valley, which she doesn’t find in Hollywood or Vancouver.
Her friends and admirers in the Comox Valley clearly appreciate her, too.
Before unveiling a Walk of Achievement plaque in the pavement of the Sid Williams Theatre fountain, Cattrall was praised for her sense of humour, unpretentiousness and loyalty to her roots.
Maybe it’s the sweet air of the Comox Valley, but people from here who go on to bigger things seem to remember where they come from. It’s a hard place to forget.
A number of other people who were born and/or raised here have gone on to bigger things.
They include Milwaukee Brewers’ infielder Taylor Green, who is Jackie Green’s son and Cattrall’s friend. The Brewers or some other major-league team will find full-time at-bats position for what appears to be a big-league bat.
Maybe Taylor will one day stroll onto the Walk of Achievement himself with his proud parents and maybe even Kim Cattrall looking on.