Tim Collins

It’s more than Hope that makes the community great

Warm-hearted and fascinating people made reporter’s brief stay in Hope one he’ll never forget

I’m sorry to say that my time as editor of the Hope Standard has come to an end and, although you’ll see sporadic features with my byline in the future, I have now left the community.

I’ve been given this opportunity, however, to pen some parting thoughts about the community as I head back to my home on Vancouver Island and my next assignment for Black Press.

In all honesty, my time in Hope surprised me.

My professional background has, more often than not, seen me working in urban centres where population was counted in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Coming to Hope, with it’s population of about 6,000 had me wondering what I could possibly find to write about.

I needn’t have worried – not at all.

What I discovered in Hope was that it is populated by people who love where they are and what they do. Certainly, they have their challenges – everybody does, no matter where they live. But in Hope I found people who were willing to face those challenges head on and move forward with confidence that their efforts would be rewarded.

Take Carolyn Kuiper, whose story will appear in next week’s paper.

After years doing what is arguably one of the toughest jobs imaginable, she left the road as an ice road trucker and, with her husband, decided that Hope was the perfect place to open a clothing store. She has no experience in retail, but she has no doubt that she will succeed. After speaking to her for only a short time, I tend to agree.

I met a lot of people like that in Hope.

Karl Koslowsky, the vice principal at Hope Secondary School, gave me a tour of the school, and he beamed like a proud parent throughout our conversation. This was a man who felt nothing but confidence in the young people he has embraced as his own. It was a spirit that teachers Erin Wilkins and Lenora Poulin exuded as well as they spoke with pride about their leadership class students.

The district’s Mayor Wilfried Vicktor took me on a tour of the town and spoke with passion about the future of his home, and John Fortoloczky shared his recollections of his military career. Both were ever-helpful with this poor journalist who was, in truth, a stranger in a strange land.

There are truly too many people to mention, from Kelly Pearce at the Hope Mountain Centre, whose love of nature inspired, to the staff at the Travel Lodge who made my month-long motel stay feel like I was coming home after a long day at work.

They were all wonderful, and upon reflecting on my stay in Hope, I realized that it wasn’t the classic move theatre, or the restaurants or even the rec centre that made my stay something to remember; it was the people.

I realized the one criticism I might have is that the name of the community belies its true nature. The community I’ve learned to love isn’t just about hope; it transcends that ephemeral emotion. It’s about strength and confidence, kindness, and ingenuity.

But you know what? Maybe Hope isn’t a bad name. Hope, after all, is never a bad thing. Maybe it’s the best thing of all.

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

Snowfall warning: 5-10 cm expected in Lower Mainland

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

Young adults given skills to cope with anxiety

Chilliwack Youth Health Centre and YMCA team up for free mindfulness program

Hope students visit Chilliwack’s second annual Youth Housing Conference

Hosted by Tzeachten First Nation and CMHC, the Conference is aimed at Aboriginal youth 15 to 30

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

5 to start your day

IHIT investing South Surrey homicide, B.C.’s budget set to focus on climate change, poverty and more

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read