Salmon Arm Observer reporter Cameron Thomson tickles the ivories of a piano left set up, with small bench, at the Japanese Friendship Gate at McGuire Lake Park. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

Column: A newcomer’s perspective on Salmon Arm

Community organizations give a sense of fellowship

Though I haven’t lived in Salmon Arm for very long, a grand total of two and a half months to be exact, I have found the city sets itself apart in a way I didn’t expect.

The sense of community I have seen while living here is astounding.

While writing this column, I found myself spending a lot of time trying to define what community actually means.

Merriam-Webster’s broadest definition of the word is, “a unified body of individuals.” Although technically correct, it didn’t embody what I see here.

Read more: Mysterious piano left underneath Friendship Gate at McGuire Lake

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The Oxford English Dictionary’s “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common,” misses the mark too.

So, like most 20-somethings, I took my query to Google and wondered why I hadn’t done so in the first place.

“A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals,” was the search engine’s second definition.

The first part is what makes this ring true the most for me, “a feeling of fellowship with others.”

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It resonates so well because I see it constantly in the stories I write for the Observer.

I have written more than a hundred stories so far, subjects ranging from an anonymously donated public piano, to thriving local businesses, community gardens and food banks.

Many of these stories involved people giving back to the community in their own way.

People making these efforts, to make the place where they live better for each other, creates a sense of fellowship.

Although every city has its issues, I hope the people of Salmon Arm can step back and recognize these things and appreciate them as I have.

Thank you for welcoming me into your city.


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