In the past week, Squamish has again shown itself as the kind of community of which others should take notice.With the passing of beloved council member and trails advocate Ray Peters, most of the community came out for services, life memorials or to honour the man by walking on the trail, which now bears his name. As someone who did not know Mr. Peters well, it was inspiring to see the love and adoration from the residents of Squamish and the area. The outpourings of affection at his life memorial Friday at Brennan Park makes one want to ensure the trails work he started will continue well into the future. But, there is no doubt that someone or more likely many someones in the community will take up Ray's rake and keep the dream and vision alive.
But, that is what this community does, doesn't it? When there is a need, someone always seems to be there. This community, for the most part, is a very caring community. Every week The Chief demonstrates that fact with stories about volunteerism, people giving for the sake of giving, and how groups come together to better the town as a whole.This week's edition features stories about how the community honoured Mr. Peters, continues to help a young boy with heart problems and comes together to clean up the town for Pitch-In Week.
But, we also have the stories that shed an unfavourable light on Squamish, like the one about the series of break-ins, which have been occurring in the Downtown. It suggests some business owners are fed up with local crime, and may be taking matters into their own hands. On the surface, that idea may sound appealing to those who have been victimized by crime. However, circumventing the proper channels of the law is not the way to go, and it certainly is not a good thing for the community. Laws exist to prevent innocent people from being harassed or deemed guilty of an act without a proper trial or evidence. Vigilantism is a slippery slope, and there are indeed risks of committing that second wrong that does not make a right.
There are good and bad stories in this community, inspirational and depressing stories, too. Every day it is up to us to decide how we will affect the community as a whole.
Let us all take a page from Ray Peters's book and choose the positive road. Cliff Miller from SORCA called Mr. Peters a "bridge-builder" in more ways than just for trails. We all need to build bridges, from businesses to the RCMP, from neighbour to neighbour, and person to person. It is easy to succumb to the negativeness that is out there, but it would do Ray's memory honour to continue to build the community spirit.