Did you know that this week is Good Neighbour Week here in our province? By proclamation of our Lieutenant Governor, July 21 to 28 is officially Good Neighbour Week in B.C., and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the spirit of community than by recognizing the importance of having a friendly, caring, helpful neighbour.
In big cities today, many people don’t have that same connection with their neighbours, and the sense of community is missing. Luckily, here in the Cariboo, most people are still on a first name basis with their neighbours, and are happy to lend a helping hand. My family moved to the Cariboo in the 1930s and I was raised on stories about how important neighbours were for survival, especially during the early years. My grandma met her future husband when the Oakes dropped off vegetables to the new Mufford homesteaders.
Being good neighbours is part of our heritage, and I hope we never lose that close connection as our cities and towns grow. It’s one of the things that I love about our region, and it is becoming more important than ever – as our population gets older, we will need to support our neighbours, and rely on them, to keep living at home as long as possible.
What makes a good neighbour? It can be a lot of things. Good neighbours reach out to people when they are in need, and help them out when they are having problems. They are sincere and considerate, kind and caring. They respect each other, and each other’s privacy. Most of all, they create a friendlier, more peaceful, and compassionate community.
If you have some great neighbours, let them know you care during Good Neighbour Week – maybe get together for a summer barbecue, and enjoy the lovely weather we’ve been having.
I hope you have a good neighbour week!
Coralee Oates is Cariboo North MLA and culture minister.