Our Community: Wreath honours peacekeepers' work

A wreath was placed at the cenotaph at the B.C. legislature to honour veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have served in various peace support efforts, at a ceremony to mark National Peacekeeper Day on Friday.

The commemoration was organized by the British Columbia Chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association with the assistance of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.

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“We are not only remembering those who have died in operations,” said Jim MacMillan-Murphy, president of the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association. “We also remember those whose experiences are complicit in their subsequent death or whose service was cut short regardless of the cause, no matter their mission at home or abroad.”

Capt. (N) Sam Sader, base commander, was the guest of honour at the ceremony, which saw dignitaries each place a poppy in the wreath.

The war memorial on the grounds of the B.C. legislature commemorates the fallen in two World Wars, the Korean War, Canada’s military support to Afghanistan and the many peacekeeping missions. For more information, go to cpva.ca.

Special Woodstock returns to Duncan

Listen to the artistic talents of people with disabilities alongside professional musicians at Special Woodstock, an annual music festival, Aug. 18 at Providence Farm in Duncan.

Like the iconic music festival from the 1960s, this Island gathering promises to be a day of peace, love and music.

Founded in 1999 by Shelley Vaags, the event is made possible with the help of the Lion’s Clubs of Vancouver Island, community sponsors and volunteers.

The event features musicians with disabilities, popular local bands and musical groups performing on three stages throughout the 140-acre property.

The event is an opportunity for people with disabilities to showcase their musical and artistic talents. It is an opportunity to find a common language, through the joy of music, to connect with people with and without disabilities.

Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. The event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Providence Farm, 1843 Tzouhalem Rd., Duncan.

For more information, go to specialwoodstock.org.

For more information, contact Linda Tesser at 778-678-7868 or ltesser@telus.net. 

Woss fire hydrants get the artistic touch 

The community of Woss looks a lot more vibrant lately following the painting of all of the village’s fire hydrants by a new resident to the area.

Last year, Vivian Williams, who retired to Woss from Alberta, painted a lighthouse on the hydrant by her home after getting the fire chief’s permission.

This year, she asked if she could paint another one, and the fire chief said that she could paint them all if she liked — and she took the chief up on his offer.

The District of Mount Waddington, which encompasses the village on northern Vancouver Island, gave their approval as well, with the only stipulation that red had to be included on each hydrant.

“I was under the impression there were 16 [that] I could spruce up,” she said. “Lo and behold, the final tally added up to 26.”

Images on hydrants include flowers, one of an Anna’s hummingbird that stays around her house all year, as well as a feisty rufous hummingbird.

Another has a bright yellow background with the iconic image of the Rolling Stones tongue-and-lip logo first found on the 1971 Sticky Fingers album cover serving as a contrast. The rest of the hydrant art just evolved.

The community has taken a shine to her project.

To make more room for her to work, workers at Western Forest Products cleared out vegetation and used a forklift to move a huge tire out of the way.

“They gave me the key for the yard as well,” she said. “I figure they liked the job I was doing and wanted to see what I would come up with.”

In appreciation, she chose to paint an octopus garden.

“Only workers will see it, so I did the ‘many hands make light work’ caption on it.”

Williams doesn’t consider herself an artist, but she says that she learned a lot from the experience.

“Those paints in the heat are honey-thick, and blending doesn’t happen with rust paint either. [But it] beats painting walls and trim on houses.”

Look for her art throughout Woss, 75 kilometres southeast of Port McNeill and 128 km north of Campbell River.

Golf tourney, dance aid B.C. kids’ hospital

There are still tickets left for the B.C. Children’s Tournament of Superheroes Golf Tournament and Country Barn Dance, which takes place Sept. 13 at the Highland Pacific Golf Course.

The event features Daniel Lapp’s B.C. Fiddle Orchestra and The Country Line, with net proceeds in support of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

You get to play a 18-hole golf tournament (Texas Scramble, of course), followed by a Jones barbecue dinner, door prizes, televised horse race, meat and wine draw and a barn dance.

Tickets are dinner only for $75, golf and dinner $195 or a golf and dinner foursome for $700. The event runs 11 a.m. to midnight, Sept. 13, at the Highland Pacific Golf Course, 450 Creed Rd. For more information, go to Facebook.

Group backs B.C. push for free contraception 

Access B.C., a campaign pushing for universal prescription contraception, is applauding the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services’ recommendation for the provincial government to include free prescription of contraception in British Columbia.

Every year, the all-party committee holds a public consultation on the next provincial budget, with British Columbians invited to share their thoughts, ideas and priorities.

Recommendation 50 in the 2020 budget-consultation report recommends the provincial government explore the provision of free contraception in a targeted and incremental manner.

“It’s heartening to see that the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommending that the 2020 budget include efforts to explore the provision of free contraception in a targeted and incremental manner,” said Access B.C. co-founder Devon Black.

“As the standing committee acknowledged, cost is the number one barrier to accessing contraception. Currently, too many B.C. residents are not able to freely decide when or if they want to become pregnant.”

She said that cost remains a significant barrier to people accessing contraception, particularly to people with low incomes, youth, and people from marginalized communities. An intrauterine device can cost between $75 and $380, oral contraceptive pills can cost $20 per month and hormone injections can cost as much as $180 per year. The result is that too many B.C. residents use less-effective methods of contraception — or simply go without.

A 2010 study by Options for Sexual Health estimated that every $1 spent on contraceptive support can save as much as $90 in public expenditure on social supports. Their study estimated that the B.C. government could save as much as $95 million annually if it implemented a program of universal access to prescription contraception.

The goal of the Access B.C. campaign is to ensure that prescription contraception be made available to B.C. residents at no cost. For more information, go to accessbc.org.

Lunch and learn at Christ Church Cathedral 

Christ Church Cathedral is hosting a new “lunch and learn” lecture series with a theme of Science, Religion and Mistrust of Institutions, beginning Sept. 12 and every Thursday for five weeks.

The noon-hour talks will explore some of the compelling issues people are facing, with expert speakers on a variety of topics including genetic engineering, assisted dying and vaccinations.

The Sept. 12 session is Conscience, Compassion, and Community in a Post-truth, Post-trust World, with speaker Paul Bramadat, director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria.

Sept. 19 — Vaccination and Religious Exemption: Scientific Challenges in a Religious World, with speaker Réal Roy, assistant professor of biology at the University of Victoria.

Sept. 26 — Medical Assistance in Dying: Christian Perspectives, with speaker Janet Storch, emeritus professor of nursing at the University of Victoria.

Oct. 3 — Ethical Aspects of Genetic Engineering, with speaker Eike Kluge, professor of philosophy at the University of Victoria.

Oct. 10 — Whom Can we Believe and What Can we Believe?, with speaker Alan Batten, formerly of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, National Research Council of Canada.

The lectures are free to join. All sessions begin at noon in the Chapter Room (through the Burdett Avenue entrance) of Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave.

For more information, go to christchurchcathedral.bc.ca.

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