Remember that Game that the beloved movie and book classic Pollyanna used to play, the game that became her namesake in any discussion perceived to be a little too sweet and idealistic?
“Oh, yes; the game was to just find something about everything to be glad about — no matter what ’twas.” – Pollyanna, from bestselling 1916 children’s novel by Eleanor H. Porter.
The recent post on T2F gave me pause because of it’s several references to New West’s losses, including the reinactment of a debate with Governor James Douglas on the decision to move BC’s Capital to Victoria, and Counsellor MacEvoy’s book on the loss of St. Mary’s Hospital. It struck me that we in New West seem to define ourselves exclusively by what we’ve lost and what has failed: St. Mary’s, our Capital status, our history, our Quay, our WHL Hockey Franchise, the Patullo Bridge, and on and on. Maybe we should all support our fantastic community groups at this volunteer fair in order to work more on defining ourselves by the fantastic parts of being a “New Westie” that we have:
- The Orange Room (yay!)
- Five Skytrain Stations (a mixed blessing, I know)
- Great festivals: Hyack, May Day and FraserFest (do we still have the oldest parade in western Canada?)
- the salmonbellies, our major and minor lacrosse team, celebrating their 120th anniversary.
- Several beautiful Parks, including Queen’s Park, Moody and Grimston.
- Great Parks and Rec facilities
- a small-town feel
- Beautiful heritage neighbourhoods including Queen’s Park, Sapperton, “Brow of the Hill” and others.
- Rich ethnic diversity and 150 years of history
- …aaaand its very own blog, TenthtotheFraser (not to toot our own horn or anything.)
One might say that an essential of good marketing is an ability to see your subject like Pollyanna would: to see the best of it in every situation. For we as citizens (and honorary citizens) of New West, we are the best marketing that New West could ever have, but not if we dwell on the losses. Sure we joke about our inferiority complex, our first-capital frustration, and not to detract from newly-minted Counsellor MacEvoy’s new publication, but ultimately, if that’s all anyone ever sees, New Westminster might be seen a city whose prime has passed – which is clearly not the case! (note that here I’m talking about we = new west citizens, not specifically T2F)
So tell someone what you like most about New West today – banish the words “capital,” “St. Mary’s” and “The Quay” from your lips (for awhile at least) and go volunteer to be part of the city we have such affection for!*
*While I’m thinking about it, we should write a book about the greatness of New West – stories, heritage, demographics, local profiles and photos? I know there is already a Royal City book focusing on the stately homes, but wouldn’t it be nice to have something like The (greater) Vancouver Book for our fair (wee) city?