Editorial: Above and beyond volunteers are priceless

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People wanting some inspiration to make a difference in the world need not look far these days.

Two recent projects underway on Salt Spring have made great strides due to the volunteer efforts of a few individuals and those who wholeheartedly support them.

The Salt Spring Laundromat project has been spearheaded by a small but fiercely determined membership of the Wagon Wheel Housing Society. As the society’s name implies, it was formed to advocate for a particular kind of housing project. But when Cherie Geauvreau, Jewel Eldstrom and others saw no one taking up the cause to replace the laundromat that closed down in early 2016, they added that to their project roster. A few hiccups like COVID-19 have created some extra obstacles for the team, but with space secured and equipment paid for, the dream gets closer every day. An open house and silent art auction at the 162 Fulford-Ganges Rd. location from 2 to 4 p.m. daily until Sunday this week invites people to drop in and see how they can offer support.

Similarly applying passion to a cause and achieving great results is south-ender Brenda Guiled. She led creation of the Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage Society some years ago and the whole island and its many visitors are benefitting as a result. New interpretive signage is in the works for the well-loved park, along with renovations to the oldest Ruckle farmhouse, which will see it become an interpretive centre. Lotus Ruckle’s spring flower garden will also be recreated nearby. Guiled is also publishing a 60-page booklet about the Ruckle family.

In explaining her motivation for enhancing knowledge of local history, Guiled says she admired the “spirit of sharing” that the Ruckle family practised and exemplified, both in the way they lived and in donating their land for public benefit.   

Guiled told the Driftwood: “At its roots, Salt Spring Island was a very accepting, tolerant, make-do, help each other kind of community, and I hope we can continue that.”

Guiled is right, and we also hope that those community characteristics are maintained and strengthened in the challenging times to come.

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