Look to Alberni’s past to compass the future

Celebrating our centennial forces us to look at our past and affords us the opportunity to learn from our history.

Alberni Valley citizens filled the Alberni District Secondary School Auditorium on the weekend to kick off the 100th anniversary of Port Alberni’s incorporation.

Celebrating our centennial forces us to look at our past, and affords us, as Mayor John Douglas stated in his centennial speech, the opportunity to learn from our history so we may forge our future.

It is a good message, and it behooves all of us to take it to heart.

Something that stands out about many stories from 1910–1912, our city’s formative years, is how fleeting business could be—and, moreover, how our predecessors got past it and moved on.

When the city’s first mayor, Arthur Waterhouse, accompanied a fellow Victoria businessman by ship up the Alberni Inlet with plans to build a wharf, the remnants of our community’s first sawmill could barely be seen in the undergrowth. Yet it had only been a decade since the Anderson Mill had prospered.

Mills came, they were a success, they burned down or they burned out. New mills were built. Stores opened, moved, closed. New stores opened in their stead. Business carried on.

This is a valuable message to take away from our centennial celebrations: stasis doesn’t have to be our future.

While our past may define us, it does not have to doom us to repeat the negative parts. Port Alberni is considered the birthplace of the B.C. forestry industry. At one time, we were an economic driver in the province.

One hundred years ago, we were going places. There’s no reason that can’t still be the case.

Just Posted

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Most Read