HAVE YOUR SAY: Christmas Village Silent Auction hauls in more than $15,000

The Boys & Girls Clubs here in the Comox Valley say their Christmas Village Silent Auction raised just over $15,000!

The Boys & Girls Clubs here in the Comox Valley are absolutely thrilled to announce their Christmas Village Silent Auction has raised just over $15,000! Thank you to everyone who participated by creating awesome gingerbread houses and creative teddy bears and to everyone who bid on any one of the 83 items. All of you made that total possible. We wish to offer our immense gratitude to our sponsors — Odlum Brown, Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community, Comox Valley Record, Shaw TV, The Eagle, Signature West Floor and Window Fashions Inc., Slegg Lumber, All-In-One-Party Rentals, Canadian Tire and SURE Copy Courtenay. A special thank you to Coby Primrose at the Comox Valley Record for her crazy design skills, to Kathryn MacLean and Ann Campbell for their accounting expertise and a very special thank you to Andrea Spitz, Julie Whitman, Shauna Rimmer, Cathy Buckrell, Jean Roos, Wendy Calder, Judy and Andy Frost for their herculean assistance with the setup and teardown of the Christmas Village year after year after year — to all of you, thank you! Our appreciation to everyone is infinite.

The doorbell rang. That meant it wasn’t friends. It was 9:00 p.m. I opened the door and standing on the lawn were a dozen young adults.  I said good evening and they burst into song!  They sang a couple of carols and left.  Didn’t ask for anything though I’d have been happy to contribute.  They left me with a huge grin and a lump in my throat.  Merry Christmas to you from me.

I’d like to sing my praises for the three Comox Valley churches that collect food and hand it out to the hungry. Not only do we have the Salvation Army (250-338-5133), but we also have St. George’s United in Courtenay (250-334-4961) and St. Peter’s Anglican in Comox (250-339-2925).

Many years ago, I was sitting in a large shell hole in Korea, with a grey blanket wrapped around me. It was a very clear night and the stars seemed like they were so close you could almost touch them. Here I was, cold, very lonely, thousands of miles from home and at a very young age. Years Iater, I was above the Arctic Circle in Norway in a place called Narvic. You may remember the place from history, as it was a stronghold of the Nazis during the Second World War. I was on assignment with Canada’s Ace Mobile Strike Force during the Cold War near the Russian border. One evening I was standing on a high mountain. It was very cold, around 40 degrees below zero. The stars were out and seemed very close. But in the valley, I could see several lights flickering and although it was very cold, it warmed my heart. I was later to learn that during the occupation of the Nazis in the Second World War, the Norwegians who escaped capture went up into the mountains for safety. However, because it was so dark at night they never knew where they were. It was then that people started to leave a small light on all night in their window so no one would be lost again and to this day they keep a light on in their window. Sometime ago, Renie and I were travelling by car to Brandon, Man. We had planned to stop along the way to rest but everywhere we stopped the motels were full. The native people were having powwows all along the way and they had all the motels reserved. So we decided to keep driving, spelling off the other when we got tired. Sometime in the early morning we stopped on the highway near Rogers Pass. It was a clear night, the stars were all out and they were very close, like in Korea years before. They were so close you could almost touch them. It was beautiful to behold. The scriptures tell us when the baby Jesus was born, a special star shone down from above to where he was lying. If you were to go to the holy land today, you can still see shepherds watching over their flocks and on a clear night you could see them looking up into the heavens above because on a clear night the stars are very close almost like you could touch them.

The Salvation Army would like to thank the Ski & Surf Shop in Courtenay for their generous donation of 21 sleeping bags that will be distributed through the Salvation Army’s programs.

River Heights Church would like to thank the following who so generously gave for our third annual Maple Pool Residents’ Christmas Dinner on Dec. 14 — Thrifty Foods, Safeway, Quality Foods, Superstore, Fields, Harbourview Dental and Loonyrama Plus. Also a very happy thank you to Mrs. Devlin’s Arden Elementary School class and Mrs. Leslie’s École Puntledge Park Elementary class for the beautiful, cheerful banners they made to adorn the walls. And lastly, thank you to all of those who prepared the food, baked cookies and served in many, many ways. Merry Christmas!

A big smiling, glorious bouquet of ambrosial delights to the honest, honourable one who returns my backpack (and its contents). It is mostly dark-coloured and easily recognizable by its built-in solar panel. In a metal cardholder in the little front pocket, you will find my business card. As a token of my gratitude, it will be my pleasure to arrange for you a relaxing and rejuvenating 90-minute massage session with me.

BC Ferries is an essential service enterprise that will cut services, increase fares or enhance its appeal to keep itself solvent. They can do this because the consumer can do nothing to change the decision. By floating the harshest scenario like elimination of thousands of ferry runs, cutting consideration for senior fares, raising travel fares and implementing slot machines for gamblers, the ferry board can gauge public reaction. Politically they can reduce the public outcry by rescinding some decisions or attacking the opposition. Some commentators suggest islanders are at fault for wanting to live on islands. The nice, understanding seniors and B.C. citizens must see the need to open their wallets more. By strategically leveraging political power the opposition can be reduced. Generous wage settlements, benefits and pension packages have been doled to union demands of the past. Those workers should consider what has happened to private-sector unions that became too expensive for the employer. Management perks and performance bonuses are usually gained on the backs of downsized workers or when management raises service fares. Paying larger compensation packages for better managers is insulting. Most B.C. workers do not receive such consideration in wages. The benefit of free ferry passage for employees, retirees, politicians and bureaucrats is an act of favouritism. I ask seniors and others to curtail using the ferry system in order to quietly express your angst. The government needs a lesson in public purse respect. It is a finite purse where irresponsible dipping is no longer affordable. Most people of B.C. can no longer afford this essential service.

Staff at the new Target store at the Driftwood Mall in Courtenay impressed by being unfailingly attentive, pleasant and helpful. My wife and I still love the Comox Valley’s small, locally owned shops, but Target is clearly making an effort to offer good customer service, a rarity among too many large chain stores.

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Do you have somebody to praise or something you have to get off your chest? Have your say by submitting to editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com. Please focus on people’s ideas rather than speculating about their character. You can also get a written submission to 765 McPhee Ave., Courtenay, B.C. V9N 2Z7 or fax to 250-338-5568. If you wish to talk to the editor, phone Mark Allan at 250-338-7816, 2309.