For my Christmas message, I am expected to say something special or share a unique story about the holiday season.
I decided to talk about you, the residents of Salmon Arm. So here goes. As I look back at 2016, things that stand out are the people. This year, I have met with more of you than ever before; I have welcomed newcomers, spent time with our youth and have been overwhelmed by the things you do for our community. Your support of each other, our city, our area, our country and the world inspires me daily.
Recently, I met an astute businessman, who talked of how he decided to leave his hometown, build an office and big house in a large city where he put his children in private schools. This man now realizes his small hometown was the best place of all. He said he has come understand the true value of smaller communities. He sees through the eyes of experience what we have, know and experience everyday. The most important of these is connections and caring.
I have watched with pride as you, Salmon Arm, offered your hand of friendship to Syrian refugees, welcomed them and continue to support them. You reached out to Fort Mac Murray fire victims, did what you could for those who came to the Shuswap as they waited for the green light to go home and continued to help those who decided to stay and make a new start here. You raised money for the homeless shelter and gave with your heart to the food banks.
You are the special story, Salmon Arm; you are caring and amazing community and I am privileged to be your mayor.
I am not sure where 2016 went but in a few days, we say hello to 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. Happy holidays everyone. See you at the Polar Bear Plunge.