MEN to WATCH – It’s No Accident: Sidney is Amazing!

by Del Elgersma, Beacon Law Centre – 

My wife Karen and I moved to Sidney by accident. It was the mid 1990s and we were new parents living in the suburbs of Vancouver. Tired of the traffic congestion, and with little hope of ever living close to the ocean (the reason we moved to Vancouver from the prairies in the first place), we decided one day that we would move to Victoria. This was before the internet, so Karen would put the baby in the stroller and walk to the local library every Wednesday where they had the Saturday edition of the Victoria Times Colonist, and Karen would look through the classified ads for job listings. Victoria was then considered one of the most over-lawyered cities in Canada, and sadly the only listings were for divorce lawyers.

But one week she called me from the library to let me know that she found an ad from a small law firm in Sidney looking to hire a business and estate planning lawyer. I got the job and we moved to Sidney, a community we knew almost nothing about even though we had been to Victoria many times. We are so grateful that we ended up in this community!

I quickly got involved with the local Chamber of Commerce, joining the board of directors and serving two terms as President. I wish I could say it was entirely altruistic, but truthfully it was a great way to get my name out there and build my practice. What I soon realized, though, is that Sidney isn’t amazing by accident. It is a great place to live because of the passionate people who build their businesses here, and who volunteer their time to contribute to the community. I had the pleasure of working with many of them, people like the late Clive Tanner, who served as an MLA and, with his wife Christine, started Tanner’s Books and made Sidney a booktown; and Marie Rosko, who has owned several Beacon Avenue businesses and served as mayor. They’ve inspired me to continue to serve.

If you want to see Sidney continue to be an amazing place to live, work and play, I urge you to get involved. Whether your interest is in community events (Peninsula Celebrations Society or the Mary Winspear Centre), the environment (Peninsula Streams Society), public safety (Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue), economic development (Chamber of Commerce), health care (Saanich Peninsula Hospital & Healthcare Foundation), to name just a few, there is an organization for you.

In the following pages you will read about some of the extraordinary men who have stepped up to make our community a better place.

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