December 2015

Highlights from the month of December for the Arrow Lakes News Year in Review

The Old Fire Hall is getting new life as a community building. After the grand opening

Pilot project- Better at Home

As seniors get older, many still want to keep their independence. For many, part of that independence is the ability to continue living in their home.

Unfortunately, living at home can be difficult for some. Doing things like going down to the store for groceries, or to the hospital for medical appointments might not be possible if they don’t have a car. Even doing certain things around the house can be a little difficult.

This is where Better at Home comes in. The organization aims to help seniors stay in their homes for as long as possible by offering services that help seniors with day to day tasks.

“I don’t have words to describe how happy I am. It’s pretty wonderful to think that we have these facilities if we need them,” said Donna Parsons.

Parsons recently celebrated her 80th birthday, and is still living in her own home.

“I’m independent at the moment, but who knows if I’m going to be independent forever, and I could sure use services to help. I know so many people that it would help. It’s wonderful.”

Old Fire Hall gets new purpose and life

The Old Fire Hall in Nakusp has been given a new purpose, thanks to the Old Fire Hall Collective Society. After Emergency Services moved to their current location back in 2011, the OFHCS stepped in to preserve the building, and turned it into something the community can use for various purposes.

On Dec. 4, the building had its grand opening.

Both those who attended the opening, as well as market vendors, were pleased with the building’s new facelift.

“It’s very exciting to see this, and for people to see the amazing work that’s been done,” said Karen McMillan of One Point Paper Arts. “I’m almost beyond words to see people here, appreciating the work that’s been done. It’s phenomenal.”

Others were just as excited about the building’s new lease on life.

“I’m certainly hoping that it will help to have a central place where people can come together and exchange different ideas and products, and help with making food available for people that is locally grown.” said Ellen Starr.

The fire hall’s farmers’ market takes place every Friday and Saturday.

Refugees coming to Nakusp? Maybe.

With ISIS attacking countries in the Middle East like Syria, many citizens have been forced to leave their homes, taking with them only what they could pack.

The Canadian government has pledged to bring 10,000 Syrians to Canada by the end of 2015. Residents in Nakusp would like to be part of this.

The Robertson Memorial United Church has formed a committee to sponsor refugees. They would like to sponsor a whole family, but it’s expensive.

While many people agree with sponsoring the Syrian refugees, others question why can’t Canadian citizens take care of their own first.

“Definitely, we need to be taking care of those close to us that are in need, and we try to do that,” said Hilary Bitten, minister at RMUC. “But the whole world now is so close,if we could just get rid of some of the boundaries that we keep putting up, then hopefully we wouldn’t have some of the issues that the Syrians are having.”

Hans Sparreboom, head of the church’s committee, agrees.

“There isn’t ‘them’ and ‘us’, it’s only us. There are no races except the human race. Why say ‘Ours first, and then theirs, maybe.’ No. It’s us.”

When asked about their thoughts on people saying the Syrians should go back to where they came from, both Bitten and Sparreboom had an interesting response.

“We all should go back to where we came from, because we’ve taken this land from the indigenous people, so let’s go back.” said Sparreboom.

“I understand people’s fear. I do not agree with their fear. I do not support their fear, but I understand it, because we have been taught to fear,” said Bitten.

Bitten doens’t doubt the group will receive flack for what they’re trying to do. Indeed, she’s already received some, but in no way has it been a deterrent.

“As Christians, I do not believe that we can turn our back and walk away from that kind of pain and suffering, or to any, but especially of that magnitude.”