Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Recognizing youth that matter

The Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards dinner last night and made some excellent choices for honouring Islanders. Foremost among them was recognizing my dear friend, Calder Stewart as the 2008 youth of the year. Calder is simply an amazing young man among his many accomplishments is included a black belt in both shotokan karate and taekwondo (2nd Dan) as well as many years experience in kyu jitsu. He is a great teacher of taekwondo, and a role model for many young kids. Heck he`s a role model for me. He is an accomplished actor and a budding playwright, a comedian, extraordinary juggler, server at Cocoa West Chocolates, and secret trail keeper.

And he's my training partner, a great guy to play board games with and my 8 year old son's best friend. To me he's like a son, a brother, a nephew and a friend all rolled into one and I'm constantly amazed how many ways I relate to him. So here's a shout out to Calder, for everything he is.

The Chamber has a new Board for 2008-09 featuring several big boosters of the deep character of our community. Paul Rickett and Rod Marsh care deeply about the future and present of this place. Daniel Heald is holding space for what good food can do on the island with the Ruddy potato and the Ruddy Kitchen and Garden, which is becoming a hotbed of permaculture expertise thanks to Kim Howden and Cathy Buchanen's dedication to edible landscapes. Finally Peter King and Piers Hays fill out the Board. Peter should be a perennial Citizen of the Year for the above and beyond service he provides through Bowen Island Community Shuttle, our bus company. And piers runs my favourite coffee shop, The Snug, that feeds me and connects me to friends new and old. It has long been an important part of my day to drift down to The Snug, grab some espresso and fall into easy and interesting conversation with friends and neighbours.

Congrats all.