It may seem a little early to start talking about 2018.
But, just as a wake-up call, we’re already into the last four months of 2017 so time, as usual, is going fast.
The reason I bring up 2018 already is it’s going to be a big year for this area – one to celebrate some significant milestones and to reflect on where we’ve been, plus become part of the province’s central focus next summer.
The first thing I have hinted at is the 50th anniversary of Fuller Lake Arena. I was there at the very beginning so I know how excited this community was to get its own ice arena. We were even ahead of the game with the rest of the region so everyone from Duncan, Lake Cowichan and even farther away in South Cowichan came here to play hockey, figure skate or just to public skate.
It really was a boom time for activity and special events, revolving around a great new arena with one of the largest ice surfaces in Canada.
Gordie Howe was even here for the opening and I’m hoping some readers will have some photographs of that special event that can be scanned and emailed to us for publication leading up to the anniversary.
The Municipality of North Cowichan, under the auspices of parks and recreation director Ernie Mansueti, already has some major plans in the works to mark the occasion so watch for those details as we get closer.
I just like to make sure I’m on top of all these significant dates and an early heads-up for the public never hurts.
Those early days of the arena were filled with great memories for everyone concerned. Jamboree Days for hockey featured jam-packed crowds from morning till night and figure skating shows were also a hot commodity.
The second thing on the radar for next year is the B.C. Summer Games.
Black Press is a very strong supporter of the Games so you can expect lots of promotion from the chain’s newspapers for the event.
There is a spin-off from the Cowichan Valley Games for Chemainus with some of the individual sports taking place here. It’s a chance for budding young athletes from around the province to show off their talents and look forward to continued development through the intensity of competition.
The Games are a big undertaking, particularly during the summer version when there are so many more events than the Winter Games – thus, the need for Chemainus and outlying areas to take some of the load off the central hub of Duncan.
Again, as details emerge, we will provide much more information in the Courier about what events are taking place here in Chemainus so residents can enjoy watching some of the action.
Many eventual world-class athletes got their start in the B.C. Games.
There will probably be a continued call for volunteers as well so some of you might want to keep that in mind if you can provide assistance in any way.
On the political front, it’s also an election year coming up in North Cowichan, even though that won’t be until late in 2018.
The scuttlebutt willbe starting soon enough about who’s going to run against the incumbents and what current members of council might decide to pack it in.
It won’t be hyped every day in advance of the election for the next year like they seem to do in the U.S. presidential race, but it’ll be important enough on our home turf. Chemainus voting usually figures quite prominently in the overall results.
There are a few candidates already lining up to try and take over Mayor Jon Lefebure’s post. John Koury, who made an unsuccessful attempt last time, is likely to be among them.
It’s still not certain if Lefebure will even try and maintain the Mayor’s post, but there’s a lot of time before that final decision needs to be made.
All in all, 2018 will be a very dynamic year in the Chemainus Valley with some noteworthy news and celebrations ahead. But I really do hope it doesn’t get here too fast.
Don Bodger is the editor of the Chemainus Valley Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.