Two people with long histories in the Campbellton area will be the keynote speakers at the first-ever Campbellton Day event on Monday, Aug. 1, on the B.C. Day long weekend.
Life-long resident Ken Enns and long-time activist Morgan Ostler will be among several speakers at a public meeting set to begin at 10 a.m. at Fusilli Grill, now located at 1760 North Island Highway (inside the Campbell River Lodge). The meeting will be held outdoors, weather permitting, on the scenic shore of the Campbell River.
“We’ve made the theme of the event as Campbellton Past, Present and Future because it’s useful and appropriate for us to look back at where we’ve been so we can plan better for our future,” said Brian Shaw, chair of the four-year-old Campbellton Neighbourhood Association (CNA), which is organizing what is expected to become an annual event to raise awareness of the neighbourhood’s needs and opportunities.
Enns was born and raised in the area as part of the Enns/Hoover family that began a building supplies store in 1946 that was converted to a sporting goods outdoor store in 1964 and now is the iconic River Sportsman store, the second-oldest family-owned business in Campbell River, of which Enns is still a co-owner.
After his retirement in 2013 he formed Shared Waters Photography to promote conservation of local nature in general and the Campbell River ecosystem in particular. He also commissioned a life-size carving by chainsaw artist Max Chickite of neighbourhood icon Roderick Haig-Brown, who they both knew while growing up.
Ostler, a former city councillor, is a writer and environmental activist. Arriving in Campbell River more than 50 years ago, she wrote for the local newspaper and eventually became editor of the The Islander.
She married the late former mayor, Robert Ostler, and following his death she became active politically with a strong interest in protection of the river and ocean waterfront. This interest resulted in her becoming a founding member of the CNA. She formed a local branch of the Island-wide Broombusters Society and, along with a team of volunteers, has almost removed all broom from within municipal boundaries. She is a recent recipient of the Community Builders award presented by the city and is presently researching material on historical events in the community.
“The CNA, with the help of the city, has made a lot of progress in recent years, such as launching the community garden, improving pedestrian safety, traffic and lighting, and area beautification, but there are many other issues we’re still working on which we hope to advance at the meeting,” said Shaw, citing better public access to the river shores and developing an entrance feature on 14th Avenue between the north and southbound lanes of the new Island Highway.
“We urge members of the local community to participate in the public meeting, which is free to attend, and discuss whatever priorities they may have.”
The day’s events will also include a barbecue with licenced beverages and free live music from about noon to 5 p.m. in the Campbellton Community Garden, on 15th Avenue, off Petersen Road.
The CNA will also be selling its first official memberships at both events as well as newsletter subscriptions, and providing other opportunities for people to become more involved in the association.
For further information, contact CNA chair Brian Shaw at 250-287-8807 or event organizer John Twigg at 778-348-0747.
Also see the CNA’s new website (still under construction) at www.campbellton.net