EDITORIAL: Showing the world what Squamish is made of

Having the gondola collapse seemed too incredible to happen.

It would be as if Chicken Little’s claim that the sky would fall came true. Unthinkable.

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But on Aug. 10 that literally became a reality.

Nevertheless, amidst a terrible setback, Squamish seems to be pulling together.

While the cable for the Sea to Sky Gondola appears to have been cut, the bond between people here in town seems to be stronger than ever.

One big highlight was the job fair held on Aug. 16. Local businesses opened their doors, and, in at least some cases, were willing to hire gondola workers who were left without a job literally overnight.

Dozens left fearing for their livelihoods were able to — at least for now — gain some respite in what must have undoubtedly been a devastating blow.

At that event, there was something that might have been in short supply in the days leading up to it — hope.

At least one person was overcome with emotion to the point they were in tears.

This was not the only act of kindness.

Despite everything that had happened to them, the gondola actually took the disaster as a chance to give back to the community.

Quick-thinking staff realized that food at the restaurant would go bad, and mobilized a convoy of trucks to bring it down and donate it to the Squamish Food Bank and Helping Hands.

It’s remarkable in a time when they had every right to drop into self-absorption and self-pity for their situation, the gondola actually took the event as a challenge to spread goodwill.

Actions like this certainly deserve a proper applause.

While the disaster has battered the community’s spirits to some extent, it has also given light to moments like this that make many people here in town proud to call Squamish their home.

Last week, we called upon Squamish to stand by those in the community who would be left most vulnerable as a result of this very sad act.

This week, we think it’s safe to say that the town has delivered.

However, the outpouring of goodwill is always easiest in the immediate aftermath of disasters such as these. The cameras are rolling. The world’s eye is upon us. This event has created headlines being read far beyond the span of just this country.

But the road towards the gondola’s hopeful spring opening next year is still a long one.

We would do ourselves a favour to keep that giving spirit alive — even when the international attention inevitably wanes in the coming months.

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@ Copyright Squamish Chief

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