Hello again. Yes it’s true. You’re absolutely correct. The column has been missing from The Observer for more than a few weeks. However, I must report that this last week I have been bombarded with info and tips on things that are happening around Moresby Island unlike I have ever seen. I’d like to think that readers missed the column so much that they wanted to ensure that there would be a column this week. Thank you to all! With that stated let’s get on with it.
Everyone has a bucket list, I hope. I have a list of things that I would like to do while I living here on Moresby and on Haida Gwaii. I recently got to check a couple of things off the list. The first was clam digging on North Beach. The other adventure was breaking down on North Beach. Don’t fret it all turned out sunny side up. I also had an amazing last surf session. What, you say? Yes, I did meander over to the other island and am writing about the adventures I had on Graham Is. But this reinforces the importance of interisland mingling and enjoying other communities. It also makes me very aware of all the wonderful things we have in Sandspit and on Moresby Is. that other communities don’t have at their fingertips. I will admit that I have done my best in soliciting Moresby Is. To all the other communities and have even recruited some new participants for Loggers Sports Day. I’m also hoping that non-Moresby Islanders will be entices and will want to venture over the waters and explore Moresby Island this summer.
Although not on my bucket list, (it was a first for me on island,)I hit a cervid. Yes, I had the displeasure of driving home from the ferry and hitting one of thousands of Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis that habit our islands. I do believe, upon inspection, that he was a little pricket. Thankfully, only my bumper, signal light and plastic side guard were damaged. Take this as a reminder to drive with more awareness when driving at dawn, dusk and all hours in between.
I also had the pleasure of participating in the Unity Run on Sunday at Naikoon Park. Together, runners and walkers from both islands were united in running and walking 10km in sunshine, overcast, hail, rain, and wind. However, smiling yet determined faces overcame mother nature’s challenges and crossed the finish line. Congratulations to everyone who participated. An even bigger congratulations to those who had a goal of completing their first 10km run/walk. Lastly, a huge thank you to those who organized such a well put together event. Well done to the Moresby Islands participants!
Recently, S.D. #50 held The All-Island Chess tournament at the Port Clements Elementary School. A.L.Mathers students represented themselves well After many rooks and knights were strategically placed and“ check mates” excitedly exclaimed, A.L.M students brought back the banner. Coach Traynor can be proud of all players including David, Kiarah and Carter who came in third, second and first respectively. Congratulations to all the students who participated and could easily beat this author!
The children’s’ soccer season is sizzling this spring! Our teams played host to Port Clements last Saturday. Three hard-fought and exhilarating games were played in the sunshine. As always, player’s improved soccer skills’ and fair-play attitudes were demonstrated. Congratulations to the coaches on mentoring these young athletes and teaching them skills that they will have both on and off the field.
The Sandspit Recreation Committee’s (SRC) hosted a season-ending-badminton tournament on April 26th. The tournament was a huge success with 14 youth participants swinging and smashing birdies all the way up the ladder in both the boy’s and girl’s singles. Roughly the same number of adult participants came out, finishing the night in a youth-adult doubles event. The Sandspit Drop-In Circuit classes have also finished up until the next session. A big congratulations and thank you to all participants who were able to come out and take part in. Classes are likely to resume in the fall providing funding is available so keep your ears open. The SRC is also looking for participants to enroll in a 6 week pooch obedience class. There is a minimum number needed in order for the program to run. For more info please call Emmy at -2484. Thanks to the Sandspit Recreation Committee for hosting these great programs.
The Sandspit Volunteer Fire Department recently became authorized as Road Rescue. Congratulations to our SVFD members for taking the time and energy to complete the certification. What a great asset to our community and to the islands.
I would like to take the time and point out two important events over the next couple weeks. The first if celebrates the role of nurses at the forefront of effecting change in the quality of health care. Take a moment to acknowledge our island nurses that have affected our lives. Thank you to the men and women who have trained to be nurses and who reside on Haida Gwaii. I would also like to take the time to share that our community is home to a very well respected retired registered nurse, Levern Gould. Thank you for your years of caring for islanders. The second is National Preparedness Week from May 5-11th. This is a great week to think about and putting together a 72hr emergency kit (in case of tsunami warnings). Last fall’s earthquake was a reality check for many who didn’t have a kit already prepared. Surprisingly, there are still many people who don’t have simple items, such as flashlights, at their disposal. If you’re just not sure what to pack or even how to store your items, please visit the Emergency Management BC website or contact Carol at -2394
The next Mimic meeting will be held on May 9th at 7pm at the community hall.
Please keep sending me tips and info about events and happenings around Moresby- it ensures there will be a column in 2 weeks. Email me at
. And as promised here’s my shout out to Erin and Clint!
Spring is a time of firsts. First daffodil to bloom, first sighting of whales, first hummingbird, first spring salmon and first sunburn. So far I’ve been fortunate enough to see many daffodils, tulips, whales and hummingbirds. I was very excited to hear the buzz of the first little hummingbird in my backyard on March 31. Needless to say I immediately ran into the house and made some food and hung up my feeders. Although I haven’t succumbed to a sunburn, I did see many rosy cheeks after the Easter weekend- the amazing sun filled afternoons in sunny Sandpit can lead to that.
One first I can check off my Island-Bucket list is hiking the Cumshewa Head trail. I’ve always wanted to experience it and experience it I did. Over the three day trip, the weather the was so warm that my amazing hiking partner dawned shorts and a tank top for the majority of the hike. I myself forgot to bring a t-shirt but didn’t let that stop me from enjoying the sun’s ray’s. I will admit, the trail is very different than it looks from the water. Up until this past weekend, I’ve only floated by it thinking about how easy it looks to just “scoot” around the rocky bluffs and across the green headland parts. I now have a much greater appreciation of the ease and comfort of a vessel versus hiking it. Although the rocky and sandy beaches were easily managed, the walls of salal easily hid the ribbons and trail markers making the hike seem more like a game of survival at times-us versus the forest. However, walking the trail and being reminded of the island’s rich cultural as well as sleeping under the stars and being close to nature, made all the difficult parts worth every inch and worth repeating. A special thanks to my wonderful hiking partner whom I shared such a memorable trip!
Back in the bustling and booming town of Sandspit- some news. Dick is back. Need I say more? Welcome back Dick! We’ve missed you, not only for your culinary talents, but also having you as part of the community.
The Parents Advisory Committee is looking for anyone with a talent to come into the school, as a volunteer, and share their talents with the students. PAC is hoping for an outdoors theme but would welcome any activity that would be beneficial to this generation to use for the future. Examples of this include gardening, local plant knowledge, basic sewing, woodworking and carpentry. If you have a talent that you’d like to share with the students or want more information, please call Sandra at 637-5307 or the school 637-5454.
Welcome Myriah Catherine Bezanson. Although this is not a first child, it is definitely the first daughter. Proud parents Amanda Price and Richard Bezanson welcomed their little bundle of cuddles on March 23rd at 1:56 am. Myriah weighed 10 lbs 1 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches in length. Both mama and baby are doing great. Proud big brother Richard is helping out with diapers and lots of kisses. Grandma Sherry, Grandma Rose and Grandpa John are getting in on lots of snuggle time, along with excited Grandpa Dan, GG Helen and Grandad Gerry. Safe travels and can’t wait for your return.
The children of Sandspit enjoyed two days of fun filled Easter excitement this past weekend. Saturday saw them hunting and gathering eggs at Sid and Greg’s Easter Egg Hunt.
Easter Sunday was Easter Extravaganza at the Hall. There was live music by Melissa F. to listen to while decorating cookies. Along with cookies there were other games, races and making of origami bunnies. I even got to sample a cookie, which I have to say was delicious. A huge thanks to super volunteer Audrey Putterill for organizing and hosting the day. This was an event sponsored by the Sandspit Recreation Committee.
If you’re looking to add a little extra activity into your week, drop in circuit classes and alternate fitness will continue until the end of April. Drop in circuit classes are Monday and Thursday at 7pm with Monday nights offering free babysitting services. Sandspit alternate fitness runs on Wednesday’s at 11:00 and is free.
Welcome back to the students who went to Europe over their Spring Break. I can only imagine the amazing trip you had. We can’t wait to here your stories about all the wonderful sites you visited.
A couple quick reminders of meetings, MIMIC’s next meeting will be on April 11th at 7pm at the community hall. The Hall Committee will also have it’s next meeting on April 8th at 8pm at the hall. You can also check out the Coming Events Calendar at the hall to see all upcoming activities that are happening at the hall. If you have any information that you’d like to share, please email me at
As I walked around Sandspit this past week, the number of flowers that have popped up are astounding. Seeing new bursts of colour after months of grey skies and bare trees make me very happy. Small dots of purple sprinkle many yards, primroses in full bloom, snow drops bordering houses, the first daffodils almost ready to bloom. I have even spotted the bright fushia flowers of salmon berries blooming, although Civa already noticed salmonberry flowers in early January. Spring is definitely on it’s way. I also notice many seed catalogues in peoples hands. My little tomoto and basil plants are doing brilliantly on my kitchen widnow sill, especially with the sunny days we’ve enjoyed.
Now before you delve into the rest of the column, I must point out thatin the last Moresby Matters I incorrectly named Buffalo Joe as Buffalo Bob. My apologies. If you’re not sure who I’m talking about, don’t worry about it.
The Sandspit Volunteer Fire Department hosted an Extraction training Session this past weekend with great success. Members from the Port Clements and Skidegate volunteer departments also attended. Always learn from other members and departments. We’re not independent of each and by sharing and working together our communities and island grow stronger. The department also hosted a causal social on Saturday night was that allowed all members to get to know each other as well as recruit new members.
The ground still moves reminding us of the evershifting fault line beneath us. Alhough we can’t predict or control when it happened, we can still be prepared. It’s amazing to know that there are still people who have not made a small 72hour emergency kit. If you know of anyone new to islands and new to our community, please encourage them to have a kit as well to become familiar with the evacuation site. In the last few weeks I’ve been housesitting for various people and have noticed that each have their kits waiting by the door. I’ve even made mine a little more appitising by ilduing freeze dried strawberries, black beans, and peppers. Friday’s around 5pm you might here a siren coming from the airport. I say might as there has been lots of discussion and opions on the amplitude of the siren.
Now I don’t want to negatively pick on anyone, but after talking to many people about the pile of garbage at the end of Hardingsville, opinions rearding the source the pile were divided. Half interpreted the pile as rubbish purposely left by some lazy disrespectful individual(s) while the other half interpreted the pile as being left by individual(s) picking garbage off the beach or by cleaning up the back roads and simply didn’t have the means of packing it to the dump. In the end, the pile was randomly picked up by good Samaritans and delivered to the dump, dump fees included. Thank you to those who were involved. This is perfect for my lead into “Please-have –respect-for-our-little-town-and-the-island-by-not-throwing-your –garbage-out-on-our-roads-or-on –our-beaches message. Although you may not see anyone walking or enjoying your perfect garbage dumping spot now, certainly doesn’t mean that someone hasn’t been there before and will be back. And to the hunters- please dispose of your carcasses off the road and well into the bush or further to the waters edge. Many a walks have been ruined by the smell of the rotting flesh and decapitated bodies. Disposing of carcasses to close to town, yes even on back roads, does welcome scavenging critters which could lead to problem animals in the future.
Last but not least are a few tidbits of info. Our students are back from their skiing adventures off island. Well done on all your fundraising and we hope to hear your stories of fun and adventure. Mr. Neil Carey is back in town after being away for some time attending to his health. It’s always a pleasure to be your presence Neil. It’s great to see you back in town. Amanda and family are currently off island awaiting the arrival of a new bundle of joy. No matter what your fitness level, or the size of your competiveness come out and enjoy adult badminton on Sundays 7:30 to 9:30pm. It’s free and all equipment is provided. And don’t forget about the Daylight Savings time change on March 10th. Let me know your info and thoughts;
or 637-5637. Cheers.
Another week gone by in February with March waiting around the corner. March is official nutrition month in Canada. What does that mean? What can I do? The national Nutrition Month campaign is brought to us by Dieticians of Canada and their sponsors. The campaign is all about planning, grocery shopping, or cooking meals using healthy food. Not sure how to participate? Some ideas include looking up Canada’s food guide, try a new food once a week, include more vegetables in meals, find out who our dietician is on island. Welcoming a healthier lifestyle is never too late.
Volunteering is also another positive way to change our lifestyle. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a commemorative medal created to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the Throne. It serves two purposes; 1) a way for Canada to honour the Queen for her service and more importantly 2) it serves as a way to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. Sandspit is home to one of the recipients of this prestigious medal. Mirjam Prudhomme received this medal for her long time and committed service to her community and country. The Department of National Defense presented the medal with the ceremony held at CFB Comox with Lt. Col. Tim Byers presenting the medal. Although surprised, Mirjam was honored to receive the award. She considers what she does in the community to be no more special than what a lot of other unsung volunteers do. Congratulations Mirjam!
A.L. Mathers School Ski-Trip-Family-Fun-Day-Fundraiser on Monday Feb 11 was extremely successful. Upon walking into the gym, my senses were overwhelmed- laughter filled my ears, colours dazzled my eyes, smells from the sweets and coffee lingered in my nose. A loonie, silent auction and children’s auction were the main events. From what I saw, the two donated Sid Dicken’s tiles and tote o’ rope (for those who are mariners we shall call it ‘line’) were the sought after items. There were many who coveted the retired tiles and vigilantly monitored bids. Congratulations to Sandra and Jack who won the two tiles, Ken who won the rope, Gord for the Helijet gift certificate, Jo for the 2013 weight room membership and to everyone else who was a winner. I have to add that I was the recipient of 6 hours of student yard work AND a Buffalo Airways, Northwest Territories Hoodie. (yep that’s right, Buffalo Airlines as in the TV show with Buffalo Bob) I’d like to add a bit of Canadiana Trivia here.
Now originally I’m a gapper, a flatlander, a prairie girl at heart. I was born and raised in Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan we call hoodies, Bunnyhugs. Don’t ask me why. It is known. From birth we Saskatchewanites only know the term bunnyhug: a hooded sweatshirt. I think it’s a much cuter and a more fun name than hoodie.
I had the pleasure of attending the event “One Billion Rising” on Thursday Feb 14th organized by one of our own, Rachel Cameron. It is an international movement to end violence against women and girls. Although the thought of an international movement seems too big for our small islands, it is an important message that we can all promote. Dancing and a small presentation followed a march, in Queen Charlotte, from the Women’s Center to the RCMP building on violence against women. Congratulations to Rachel and the Women’s Center for hosting a successful event. For more information on this movement check out http://www.onebillionrising.org.
February 27 is Pink Shirt Day and promotes anti-bullying initiatives. It first started with 2 Nova Scotia lads who, after seeing a younger schoolmate being bullied for simply wearing a pink shirt, bought a bunch of pink shirts and handed them out to male students the next morning. Bullying exists in our community and on our island in our schools, our workplace, and on the internet. Bullies are students, adults, co-workers and at times even friends. Wearing a pink shirt on this day symbolizes that we will not tolerate bullying in our environment and that we welcome a non-bulling attitude.
If you have anything you’d like to add to the Moresby Matters, please email
Spring Break is over, the kids have begrudgingly returned to school, Misty and I have returned to work. An extra week would have been nice after the exciting, wild weather last week. I love storms so I'm not really complaining but it didn't give me much gardening time. I was getting really comfortable waking up to my inner alarm clock, and not the nagging, buzzing one beside my bed. I've also become perhaps a little too attached to stretchy pants and pajamas. Must remember to push for a pajama day at the school next week.
The Junior Rangers spent their spring break in Prince George with J.R groups from Kitkala and Dease Lake. Those lucky kids, and their fearless chaperones took part in a plethora of fun activities (still waiting to see those skiing pics, Mirjam). While those of us who stayed in Sandspit held onto our hats, and in some cases our roofs, during the stormy days, those kids got to go skiing, try out snowshoeing, zip lining, rock climbing, and swimming. It sounds like they had a fantastic time! I hope everyone had a good relaxing break and did things they love to do.
I think I heard a collective cheer when Dick arrived back in town after his own winter break. Sandspitians have been seriously deprived of our Chinese cuisine and it's so nice to see Dick's smiling face again. I actually dreamt I was eating a curried prawn hotpot last week, so it's not a moment too soon. This year Dick will have Misty and Lori helping him out and will be open every day at 5 pm, except Wednesdays. Maybe Dick will join darts as a spare?
Excellent news for those of us who have become stiff and need to stretch our hibernating bodies. There are a few opportunities, here in Sandspit, for getting moving. Yoga Haida Gwaii is offering classes starting April 7th! The four week session will take place on Wednesdays 7:25-8:25pm at the church. It's $40 to pre-register or $12 per drop-in. Contact Jennifer Pigeon at 250-557-2456 or
to register or for more information. Bring your mats if you have one, although mats are available, please bring a blanket and arrive 5-10 minutes early. The Q.C.I Rec. Alternate Fitness program is still going on in the A.L. Mathers Gym, Tues & Thurs. ~ 5:00 - 5:45 pm and Fitness Training Sessions, 7:00-8:00 pm Mondays and Wednesdays, running until Apr.28.
Don't forget that the Europe kids are still raising funds for their trip. 50/50 tickets are on sale now for the month of March draw. The students and parents thank everyone who came out and supported them at the coffee house. It was a great turn out, everyone had lots of fun, and the students greatly appreciate the community support.
The first day of Spring is on Saturday. I hope Mother Nature knows this and graces us with some sunshine and blue skies because it is also the first soccer game of the season. Come out and cheer our team on, the game starts at 10:45 a.m. Players need to arrive on the field and READY TO PLAY at 10:20 a.m. Good luck to all the Island's teams! We're looking forward to another exciting season.