Three items on the local Good News list last week.
First, congratulations to Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett on her appointment as Minister of State for Rural Economic Development.
Second, Cariboo Lodge. Third, the museum.
At my age, facilities for seniors are of more than a casual interest, and the news that Cariboo Lodge may live again has brought joy to many hearts. It should never have been closed in the first place. With all respect to the Senior’s Village, there are seniors who would like to spend their last days “downtown.” Some will argue downtown isn’t actually downtown anymore but, still, the senior’s centre and other amenities are close by the lodge site and it’s an interesting neighbourhood. (Retirement Concepts originally wanted to be downtown, in Boitanio Park.) Besides, it’s good to have a choice. Whatever, a new senior’s complex on the lodge site would be a win win for many reasons..
I understand the 70 new “beds” the province is providing will go through a bidding process with the results announced in December. I don’t know if there are other bidders, or what the criteria is, but the No. 1 priority should be what future clients want. Given the history of the lodge, many (most?) of us will want the new senior’s complex on that site.
Then there is the museum. I am no longer directly involved, but I was for 30 years so, of course, I’m excited about the possibility of a new building. The Stampede Grounds is the logical spot for the museum/153 Mile Store and perhaps someday a complete heritage village.
The present museum isn’t really so full that it can’t accept artifacts, but the display and storage spaces are overflowing and for some years it has been a challenge to find places to put things. Besides, the building wasn’t meant to be a museum, and while Cariboo Chilcotin people are known for “making do” with what they have to work with, it’s well past time for a proper facility, one that can provide the space and conditions for the proper care and display of the treasures in the collection that tell of our rich and colourful history.
Diana French is a freelance columnist, former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.