Walk of Achievement recipient Hodgins grateful

Dear editor,

Dianne and I left Courtenay for Denman Island soon after the Friday ceremony and returned home to Victoria only yesterday.

Though I was busy teaching a writing workshop during that time, I found myself quite often reliving the Walk of Achievement ceremony and appreciating the honour with a sense of wonder and a good deal of gratitude.

JACK HODGINS (middle) is surrounded by Mayor Paul Ives of Comox

JACK HODGINS (middle) is surrounded by Mayor Paul Ives of Comox

Dear editor,

Dianne and I left Courtenay for Denman Island soon after the Friday ceremony and returned home to Victoria only yesterday.

Though I was busy teaching a writing workshop during that time, I found myself quite often reliving the Walk of Achievement ceremony and appreciating the honour with a sense of wonder and a good deal of gratitude.

Once we were home and I had access to my computer, I checked the stories in the Comox Valley newspapers, and this reinforced my sense of the exceptional privilege and honour bestowed upon me. As I mentioned in my comments, not every writer feels welcome in his or her home territory!

Not only has the Walk of Achievement honour made me feel welcome, but it has reminded me of how, in my work, I am constantly drawing upon my affection for and knowledge of the Comox Valley — its history, its landscape, and its people.

I appreciate that perhaps the primary purpose of the plaque, the event, and the acknowledgement is to provide encouragement for young people growing up in the Valley with their own dreams.

I recognize the importance of providing this sort of recognition, since I can recall feeling as a youngster that my own hopes were unrealistic and perhaps foolish – knowing of no one else who had grown up in the Comox Valley and written stories about the place or its people.

This might have been discouraging enough to make me abandon my dream if my parents, some of my teachers, and my own fascination with the people and history of the area hadn’t helped to keep the dream alive.

I am especially pleased that the plaque in the sidewalk is associated with the Laughing Oyster Bookstore! And I am grateful to those who came out to speak, as well as to those who sent e-mails and all those who showed up to witness the ceremony.

If this plaque and the publicity surrounding the Friday event provide hope, justification, and inspiration for future writers and other artists growing up in the district, this will give me a good deal of satisfaction.

Amongst other things, I am grateful that Dianne and our family (including our grandchildren) were present at the ceremony to witness such generosity and support expressed in the place of my own growing-up years.

Thank you again for your hospitality in Courtenay and for this remarkable honour.

Jack Hodgins

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read