LETTER: Former Port Alberni resident confident the city will rebound from 2019 forestry ills

To the Editor,

A lot of folks in my hometown of Port Alberni are going through tough economic times as the Western Forest Product strike creeps into its seventh month. Port has gone through challenging periods before and the community has always rallied together to overcome adversity and will do so again.

I have fond memories of growing up during the 1960s and ‘70s when the town was booming and Third Avenue was the place to shop and conduct business. The sidewalks were packed with young families and the street filled with cars.

Many a warm summer night was spent hanging out on the corner of Third and Mar Street with my kid brother and our neighbourhood pals gazing at the muscle cars cruising “the strip”, debating about which was the coolest to own once we were old enough to drive.

By contrast today, Third Avenue has ceased to be the bustling hub as many businesses have re-located to North Port to take advantage of the tourist traffic passing through enroute to the west coast. Long gone are the hordes of shoppers and traffic jams…and the bench we use to sit on all those summers ago.

The economic power of the lumber industry has diminished over the years, embattled by environmental concerns, a dwindling supply and the exportation of logs off shore. No longer the main driving force behind the province’s financial engine, our government’s involvement has been limited in resolving the stalemate.

It’s been said the real test of character is revealed in how people respond when faced with a major crisis. If this is true then the people of P.A. exemplify the strength of the human spirit with their unwavering resilience, deep compassion and uncompromising loyalty to their hometown.

Forestry in our province is considered a sunset industry and will never be as it once was, but the future bodes well for Port Alberni and its citizens who will continue to adjust and re-invent themselves to the changing times.

I moved to Vancouver almost 40 years ago after being laid off from the Somass green chain but in my heart Port will always be home.

Wes Fung,

Richmond

Editor’s Note: Wes Fung is a proud 1979 ADSS graduate.

forestryPort Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BIZ BEAT: Get a head start on spring cleaning in Port Alberni

Chris Fenton walks across a desert to raise funds for ACAWS

2020 is another banner year for Port Alberni

Painted banners will be hung up in the Rotary Arts District this summer

Port Alberni’s Special Olympic skaters head to BC Winter Games

Four skaters from Port Alberni will head to Fort St. John to… Continue reading

Alberni bowler proves that age is just a number

Maurice Bernier will be the oldest athlete at the Special Olympics nationals in Thunder Bay

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Five vehicles crash on the highway in Nanaimo, one rolls over

No one injured in collision Wednesday on Highway 19A near Norwell Drive and Jingle Pot Road

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Most Read