EDITORIAL: The Spirit of Volunteerism

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
May 21st, 2009

As Rossland struggles with recreation issues and the Pool Society tries to promote the idea of membership for its facility, it seems like a good time to take a moment to give some thanks for the spirit of volunteerism. The Trail Aquatic Centre may become an unaffordable option for many families in town, but we’ll still have our local pool thanks to a small but dedicated group of volunteers.

If, like many of us, you come from the city you probably grew up with a paradigm such that when you asked  yourself ‘what shall I do tonight?’ the answer probably involved spending money on some sort of commercial activity: movies, plays, bars, concerts, etc. When you first move to a rural community, the hardest thing to get used to is the dearth of those conventional urban options. At first the evenings can seem mighty quiet. After a while, though, you begin to get into the swing of things. You begin to tune into the frequencies that small towns broadcast on.

And most of the transmissions you begin to hear are put out there by volunteer organizations.

This entire article could be a list of such volunteer groups: Rossland Radio, Black Jack Ski Club, Rossland Search and Rescue, the Lions, the Sustainability Commission and its various task forces, The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture, the Eagles, the library, the firehall–it’s just ridiculous. We could go on and talk about the volunteerism that informs youth sports (skiing, hockey, soccer, on and on) and the arts. For that matter, we might as well put city council on the list, for all the compensation they get for their efforts.

Now that we’ve started listing volunteer groups, of course, we break out into a nervous sweat since its pretty much guaranteed that we’ve missed any number of groups and people. (if anyone wants to add to the list, post a comment). Check out our events listings: see how many of them are volunteer efforts compared to how many are commercial in nature.

In fact, it’s safe to say there’s more non-commercial stuff going on in Rossland than there is pay-to-play stuff. that says a lot about this town and it says a lot about Rosslanders as people.

So while we like to court controversy whenever we can here at the Telegraph Corporate Headquarters, today we’d like to suggest that we all take a moment this week to thank the volunteers who make our lives, and the lives of our elders and  children, what they are. And while you’re at it, take out a membership at the pool.

Summer’s almost here…

Categories: Op/Ed

Other News Stories