PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

October 24, 2012

Where do I go, if not with you?

Filed under: Commentary — Jocko @ 7:31 pm

Hi All you PenderBlog devotees (an overstatement maybe?),

As you may have noticed, I have not posted a lot in the past year.  I started PenderBlog back in 2007, yikes, 5 years… poof!  And I have learned a lot in the process, what worked, what didn’t.  It’s a big world out there and everyone is watching.  But it has been fun, and isn’t that the point of almost everything we should be doing with the short time we get on this crazy planet.

Five years ago I had barely heard of a blog and what they were for.  Now, as someone said to me, “Everybody has a blog”.

My original concept, however, was different.  PenderBlog was hopefully going to be Pender Island’s blog, not mine. Trust me, I don’t have enough interesting things to post every week, but collectively Pender Island does.

Of course there are so many avenues of expression out there today, but I have been a bit surprised by the loyalty the subscribers to the PenderBlog have been.  PenderBlog has a facebook page and many friends now carry the flow of island observations through PenderBlog on facebook.

So, at the risk of being too wordy here, I would like to keep the PenderBlog going, but encourage any of you dear readers to make a submission if the urge comes along.  I will volunteer to be your lowly moderator.

Now that it’s dark outside, maybe I’ll even muster up a few new posts!

Thanks for the five years and happy Hallowe’en.

John Mackenzie, PenderBlog

August 21, 2012

Ready, set, go ducky!

Filed under: Services — Jocko @ 5:56 pm



11 am Sunday, August 26th at the Canal Bridge.

Watch your duckies race to the finish line!

WIN  $1,000,  $500,  $250,  or  $100!

Pender’s Pipe Band will be playing to add to the fun.

Best viewing is at Mortimer Spit or from the water.  Park on the road and walk down.

Come early, parking is limited – carpool if possible


Get your boat or kayaks and some friends and make a day of it.

Raft up behind the floating boom, on the Port Browning side of the The Spit.

But FIRST, get your tickets!  Tickets are $5 each

Available at the Library, the Farmer’s Market or the Driftwood table on weekends.

A Pender Library Fundraiser – Support your Library!

June 5, 2012

Pender Island Public Library upgrade

Filed under: Services — Jocko @ 5:11 pm



The Library will be officially re-opened on Tuesday July the third, so please do not return your books until then, but don’t worry, no fines will be owed!  All books will have a July 3rd.  due date.

The library board is happy to thank PIRAHA, which owns the library building, for agreeing to pay for the cost of the remediation work done.  All the mould and rot is gone and the building received a clean bill of health from the testing company.  Also, the board is most happy to report that PICSS (Nu-to-Yu) has given the library $10,000 towards the cost of the electrical work done in the updating. Thank you!

The Fund Raising team, led by Heather Rumble and Barb MacPherson, is hard at work planning events through the summer.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 16th, the renewed library’s  PREVIEW CELEBRATION!  From 1 – 4 pm, there will be tours of the library, children’s activities, toddlers’ story time, finger food and refreshments by donation and brand new book bags for sale, $15 each, 2 for $25.  The library’s brand new logo will be featured in embroidery on the bags.  Very stylish!  A big Thank You to Leroy at MinskyDesigns for donating his time to design the logo.

Starting at 5:30 pm, the fun continues at the Community Hall. “Books, Burgers & Boogie” is a licensed event (adults only) where you can grab a burger, some salads and dessert plus shake your bootie all for $20! (dance only, $10).  No host bar.  DJ Colin Watson will be providing the music. Between dances, there will be 50/50 draws and fun games for silly and not so silly prizes!  Bring your loonies and toonies and outdo your friends – see who can win the most! Tickets are available at Talisman Books and Southridge Farms. As a bonus, you can reserve a whole table (8-10 people) for only $1 per person.

A second date to note is 11 am, Sunday, August 26th. The PENDUCKY DERBY is back! Thanks to the Lions Club for loaning the little, yellow rubber duckies!  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, let me explain.  Years ago, each summer islanders would gather on the bridge or in boats or on the Spit, wait for the spilling of little yellow ducks from a tractor bucket and then cheer madly as they waited to see which ducky would be first to cross the finish line (reach the floating boom).  If your numbered duck is the winner, you win the big prize.  Most exciting and a real Pender event!  Volunteers will be selling Penducky Derby tickets at the Library, the Driftwood and the Farmers’ Market.  Get your ducky tickets, $5 each, and plan to be there on August 26th (day after the Fall Fair). It is a sight to see!

The third big event to mark is Saturday, September 8th.  “BOOKS, BITES & BORDEAUX”, to be held in the Community Hall, will be an evening of food and wine.  More information about times and tickets, etc. will follow in future articles.

Speaking of fund raising, the board and everyone at the library would like to send out a big THANK YOU to all who have donated to the library so far. To give you an update, the budgeted total for the Library’s updating was $325,830.00, (including $50,000 needed for fixtures and furniture).  To date, $253,354.00 is in the Building Fund. There was $175,000 in the fund at the beginning (money saved over the years) so that means $78,354 has been raised from donations to this point. THANK YOU!  The Fund Raising Goal for the team is now $72,500.00.   That’s it, that’s all that is needed to get it all done!

A big thank you must go out to all members of the eight book clubs on Pender for a successful May 7th event, “A Celebration of Books”, held at the Golf Club.  Forty five members were at the event. Attendees were treated to an amazing talk by South Penderite, Dr. Maria Tippett, award winning author and historian. Along with many other books, Dr. Tippett has written acclaimed biographies of Emily Carr (for which she won the Governor General’s non-fiction award), Bill Reid, Yousuf Karsh and Fred Varley.  Special guest, Shivaun Gannon, attended and presented her new memoir, “Listen to My Heart”, as a special door prize.  Also attending were Anne and Melanie Chernyk, the new mother and daughter team at Talisman, who very kindly donated a gift certificate and books for door prizes. Thank you, also, to the Golf Club for offering the venue free of charge.  The total amount raised, from both members in attendance and those not able to be there, was a whopping $2,675.  A ‘secret angel’ had offered to double the amount raised so the total for the evening came to $5,350. What a success!

Carrying on with fund raising information, the library won’t be able to go on the Tru Value Spirit Board because there are other groups waiting for a spot ahead of the library.  No queue jumping on Pender!  Thanks to all of you who asked the cashiers to put your support to the library with your grocery purchases.

If you are considering a donation to the library, here are a few points to ponder.  Our library is unique in B.C.  Did you know that it is owned by the community, through the Pender Island Public Library Association, is run almost entirely by volunteers and is free for all to use!  Our library’s upgrading will give the community a safer, seismically upgraded building, provide wheelchair accessibility, have a better designed, larger children’s area and more usable and flexible computer space.  Lighting and ventilation will be improved and the volunteer librarians will have functioning computers in a more flexible workspace.  Book storage will be better and our Head Librarian, the indomitable Jean Macdonald, will have a proper office space from which to run the library’s daily activities.

Donations to the Library Renovation Fund can be made at the HSBC bank at the Driftwood and/or cheques made out to Pender Island Public Library Association can be mailed to Box 12, Pender Island, B.C. V0N 2MO. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 and up.

Our twenty-plus year old library is going to be a wonderful community space and you can have a part in making it happen!

Monica Bennett, Trustee

March 2, 2012

Ferry Tales

Filed under: Island Neighbours — Jocko @ 2:47 pm


I received this message this morning from Phillip Vannini, author of the newly published book “Ferry Tales“.  I was contacted by Phillip back in February of 2008 to provide any information I may have had towards his writing project.  The book has now been published and is available online.

Greetings from Gabriola Island!

I hope this message finds you well. As you may remember, quite some time ago you were so kind to share with me your experiences, stories, and perspective on ferries and life on the coast.  I thought I should let you know that the research has just been published. The book is published by Routledge and can be found at their website here: or through any major online retailer like  I hope to have the book in local bookstores too, but that always takes quite a while.

In writing the book I’ve made sure I spoke to both a local audience as well as an academic one, so I hope it will be pleasant to read. You can also check out the book’s accompanying website at, which features excerpts from the book, photos, maps, and audio documentaries.

The book sells for about $30. Because so many people up and down the coast donated their time to me to make this project happen, I thought I’d donate my time too. 100% of my royalties will go to two non-for-profit groups here on Gabriola that help out with children’s programs and people in need.

Thank you again for helping me capture a glimpse of life in your community.

Phillip Vannini
Professor and Canada Research Chair
School of Communication & Culture
Royal Roads University

February 22, 2012

Save Canada’s Lighthouses

Filed under: Island Neighbours — Jocko @ 1:51 pm


A note from Pat Carney:

I would appreciate it if  those of you who are interesting in saving our B.C. lighthouses would sign the petition below to send to the federal government.  Heritage Canada Foundation, Canada’s largest  heritage NGO has worked with me for 12 years to save our marine heritage, Please note no money pledges are involved!  Our East Point Fog Alarm Building [on Saturna Island] has been petitioned!  Take care, Pat Carney


Heritage Canada Foundation /
La fondation Héritage Canada


Canada’s lighthouses are at risk!

Sign the petition to help save Canada’s historic lighthouses
Ottawa, ON, February 7, 2012 —  The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is urging Canadians to sign the petition to help save Canada’s historic lighthouses.

The Government of Canada owns hundreds of iconic lighthouses.  Earlier this year, it declared more than 500 of them—including many of the most historic ones—as “surplus.” That means many of these important local landmarks and historic icons are at risk. Already neglected, starved for essential maintenance and care, and often located on remote, weather-ravaged sites, Canada’s historic maritime symbols face an uncertain future.

Local groups want to help. But, they are under pressure to find the money and the means to save these iconic structures. HCF is launching a campaign to get the word out, including an information website, and an online petition encouraging the Federal Government to invest in the efforts of local groups and communities to save their lighthouses.

You can help: Sign the petition to help protect Canada’s historic lighthouses. Then, share the petition on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for taking action to save Canada’s lighthouses.

For further information contact:
Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,
Telephone: 613-237-1066 ext. 229; Cell: 613-797-7206

Follow us on Facebook

February 17, 2012

Proposed Policy Statement Review

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 2:18 pm



From the Islands Trust:

At its March 6 – 8, 2012 meeting, Trust Council will consider whether to review its Policy Statement and whether to accept an offer of up to $250,000 from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund to facilitate undertaking this review.

The purpose of the Policy Statement is to express a vision for the future of the Trust Area and to translate that vision into policies of Trust Council.

We welcome your comments and your interest in the proposed review. Please Email by noon on March 5th if you want Trust Council to consider your views.

For more information visit our website:

January 19, 2012

Islands Trust Launches Online Mapping Tool

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 4:24 pm

From the Islands Trust:


VICTORIA – The Islands Trust has now launched its new online mapping system – MapIT – identified on their web site with a new logo for easy access:

“This is a very exciting new online mapping tool that gives islanders quick online access to much of the same mapping information that our staff and trustees use during the land use planning process,” said Linda Adams, Chief Administrative Officer.  “Now you can explore the islands with the click of a mouse in your own home.  Or you can build your own custom map of a single property or an entire island. I think this will be a particularly useful and interesting tool for homeowners, community groups, students and businesses that need property information, but anyone interested in knowing more about the islands or specific properties will find it helpful.”

More detailed information is available on this .pdf file News Release:

October 23, 2011

Watersheds critical

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 7:40 pm


waterfall on the Buck Lake trail (photo: Jocko)

From the CRD (Capital Regional District) and PICA (Pender Islands Conservancy Association):

Protecting watersheds on the Pender Islands is critical.  These are our major resources for recharging our reservoirs and aquifers.

What is a watershed?

This is a geographic area where rain and snow-melt flowing water is collected into common water bodies such as rivers, streams, wetlands or lakes.  During the collection process some of the water percolates through the soil and recharges the aquifers.

The Shingle Creek Watershed.

The Shingle Creek watershed must be protected as soon as possible.  The window of opportunity to purchase this property is limited.  This watershed is the largest catchment recharge area on North Pender Island.  It feeds the creeks and aquifers supplying Buck Lake, South Otter Bay Road, Browning Harbour and most areas in between.

Where is this critical watershed?

The 17.4 hectare (43 acre) watershed portion of the 37.3 hectare (92.1 acre) total property is a part of the Shingle Creek drainage which extends from the western portion of Lively Peak Park to Shingle Bay.  The western boundary of the property shares important wetlands with the Roe Lake portion of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Why is the protection of this watershed of major importance?

•  Watershed protection is the basic principle for incurring pure drinking water and security of its supply.

•  Shingle Creek is the major source of water for Buck Lake Reservoir from which Magic Lake Estates obtains its drinking water.

•  Sale of this sub-dividable property to a private developer could place the security of this water supply in jeopardy.  Preserving the tree canopy and ground cover slows the rate of precipitation run-off and filters out air-borne pollutants.

•  Permanent preservation of appropriate areas of the property by conservation covenants would secure the land in perpetuity.

•  An alternative emergency route from Magic Lake Estates through the property may also be possible.

How is the property to be purchased?

Various sources of funding are being explored such as grants and private donations.  However, no direct funding is available from neither the Federal Government nor the Provincial Government for the purchase of land specifically for watershed  protection.

It is proposed that a phased purchase of the total property take place over a two to three year period.

Now, we need your help, your ideas, and your support as individual members of this community.

This is our water supply; it needs our protection.

Get Involved


CRD Southern Gulf Islands Regional Director, Ken Hancock:  (250) 629-6610  Email: or

PICA (250) 629-3099  Email:

This project is supported by the following community groups:

•  Capital Regional District (CRD)

•  Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA)

•  Magic Lake Water and Sewer Committee

•  Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission

•  North Pender Island Local Trust Committee

Let’s seize this unique opportunity… to protect the Shingle Creek Watershed, the Buck Lake Reservoir for Magic Lake Estates and secure acres of parkland for the Pender Islands.

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