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On Reflection

A few thoughts from long-time resident and former mayor Douglas Miller


This week of the holidays provides a lull, ideal for looking back on the year just ending.


It is difficult not to have compassion for the growing numbers affected by these difficult economic times. The increasing economic disparity in our society is resulting in rising numbers of people struggling to provide the very basics of life; food and shelter. As a country, I like to believe that we are better than this.


Raising a family in this environment must be a daunting prospect, even in this socio-economic wonderland of Lions Bay. My hat is off to those who take on the task of raising our next generations.


The temperature of our local politics seems to have cooled considerably over the past few months. Fortunately, British Columbia has the Community Charter and a proactive Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The former sets out how municipalities are to operate and the latter is there to ensure that those rules are followed. I did wonder how crazy things would have to become before the Ministry finally has enough and decides to just make Lions Bay part of West Vancouver. May sanity prevail at the council table in the year ahead. I extend best wishes to our elected officials, our new CAO, and the rest of the Village staff for a harmonious 2024.


For those who have settled in Lions Bay over the past 20 years, you will be unfamiliar with a publication called The Seagull. It was a monthly newsmagazine delivered in hardcopy format to all the local mail boxes. It contained an eclectic assortment of articles and stories about local activities and people. It became onerous for its editor and publisher, Karen Dyer, to write articles, sell and design sufficient advertising, do the layout for the printers and, finally, deliver it to our post office.


Fortunately, times and technology have changed. Coupled with renewed energies on the part of Karen Dyer, The Seagull was reborn this year in digital form under the banner of The Watershed. Thanks to her training and experience as a journalist, we once again have an accurate documentation of our local affairs. Her unbiased reporting on the Village council meetings alone is worth the proverbial price of admission. No longer must we rely on the rantings and raging in local social media “silos” for our information about local activities. Karen and The Watershed are deserving of our support.


I am unsure how to approach this final thought without encroaching on the person’s privacy. We have someone who has been living among us for almost 25 years. He has chosen an unconventional lifestyle. He lives outdoors just outside our municipal boundaries. I often think of him when heavy rains fall and strong winds blow. Despite circumstances that can at the very least be described as “difficult”, this gentleman invariably presents himself well and exhibits an amazingly positive outlook on life. He appears to make most of his income by collecting aluminum drink cans along the highway. Some locals save their returnables for him. Lately, my concerns for his well-being have increased. He is now in his 70’s and his is not an easy life. If you are willing to set aside your aluminum drink cans in a box or bag rather than putting them into your recycling container, I would be glad to pick them up from your home. The alternative is to drop them off at my residence, 229 Bayview Road. My phone number is 604-351-1400. This small act on your part would make a significant difference in the life of a deserving individual.


In advance, “Thanks”.

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Thank you very much Douglas! We also save our aluminum cans and our folded down milk cartons so that they reach this resident. We greatly appreciate you bringing this idea forward to others in the Village and for offering to pick up or handle any dropped off at your door.

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Thanks Douglas.

When we were building the Centennial Trail in 2009 Jack helped us build the section between the 39 Steps and the store.

At this time of year when the Amazon vans bring more and more stuff into the Village, Jack is a wonderful example of how little stuff we really need !

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Great to hear a voice of compassion and reason from a former LB mayor!

I gave the resident he mentioned, a ride to the recycling depot 3 weeks ago as he waited at the Kelvin Grove bus stop with a giant container of aluminum cans. While on a hike with the trailblazers, I learned that several folks had arranged to provide him with some Christmas goodies. Just what the world needs — small acts of unbiased kindness.


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Thank you, Douglas. A number of people look out for John/Jack, the individual of whom you speak, but it is good to be reminded that we people here in a privileged community have a needy person in our midst who we must care for.

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