For newcomers to the Comox Valley, welcome to my Christmas tradition.
Every year, in the final edition before Christmas, I test my poetic skills by putting together a ‘year in review’ column, in verse. And every year, I am reminded why I never excelled at poetry.
Here’s my 2021 submission. Merry Christmas everyone.
’Twas three days before Christmas, and just like last year,
That dreaded pandemic is still hanging ’round here.
Try as we did, we couldn’t cure it,
So now we must just sit back and endure it.
Another Christmas alone, with no family visiting,
No Aunt Joan to complain of the carols I sing.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have any fun,
Here’s a year in review, to please everyone.
Full disclosure up front, before I get going
Poetry’s not my forte, of that I am knowing.
So bear with me and read along if you please
My Christmas poem is always full of cheese.
The year started off on a familiar tune
A boil water advisory - but those would be done soon.
A brand new water plant would be completed at last
To make those advisories things of the past.
The new plant opened in September to plenty of cheers
Clean water a guarantee for years and years.
There were some changes at the Record again,
Particularly at the top of the office food chain.
Our beloved publisher, Keith Currie, retired.
Moving home to Winnipeg is what he desired.
Filling his chair was a familiar face,
As Artur Ciastkowski took his place.
Artur was in sales at the Echo; in the merger he came here.
Before honing his skills at the Campbell River Mirror.
He returned to his roots, and a welcome addition
We’re all happy he was chosen for this publisher position.
And as he was christened prior to our Christmas Party,
He now has a new nickname; the staff call him Artie.
Chief Don Bardonnex said it was time to retire,
After so many years of fighting our fires.
Thanks for your service, sir. Enjoy your free time
Long walks with Gunner along the coastline.
Kurt MacDonald is the new Chief at the station
Although ‘new’ is an improper denotation
He’s been Deputy Chief for 11-plus years.
So just a shorter title now, it appears.
Comox council has a new face, via byelection
Jonathan Kerr is the new councillor, a worthy selection.
He was one of four candidates seeking success
After Pat McKenna stepped down, to return to NS.
Courtenay’s biggest story of 2021
Has taken so long, it’s still not quite done!
Of course, I’m talking about the 5th street bridge project.
Everyone has something to say on the subject.
The inconveniences have been no more than that.
And the finished product will be nice to look at.
(OK that’s lame, I know, it’s true,
But I’m trying to keep this upbeat for you).
Island MusicFest returns in 2022.
My reaction to that is a simple “Yahoo!”
It’s our family’s favourite festival, three days full of song
Two years on the shelf is two years too long.
There was an election, of federal size
The results in the Valley were no big surprise.
The NDP’s orange wave swept through our streets,
With Rachel Blaney and Gord Johns keeping their seats.
The year was not all good news, I know,
And I must acknowledge climate change before I go
May all those affected by this year’s weather
Find the strength to keep their lives together.
Here in the Valley, we were quite fortunate
To avoid where all the worst storms and fires hit.
And to all those who continue to abide by the rules,
Wearing masks, distancing, and not being fools,
For considering my health, I thank you outright.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Terry Farrell is the editor at the Comox Valley Record… and a rather bad poet.