Friday, February 25, 2011

Dinner, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thankfully the snow stayed up in the heavens, and allowed us to have a safe journey to and from dinner this evening! Thanks to the members and honourary members for attending and enjoying the cuisine. A cold night called for hot vegetable soup followed by baked ham and potatoes au gratin, complete with mixed vegetables. Dessert was a light vanilla and strawberry sponge cake and we had juice, tea and coffee throughout the evening.

Nick Cheng, as President welcomed members as well as guests at the head table: Mayor Richard Stewart, Councillor Jaimie McEvoy and Fin Donnelly, MP. Also present were Councillors Betty McIntosh (with husband Ken) and Lorrie Williams.

We adjourned to the theatre and following an eloquent and humorous introduction by Councillor Jaimie McEvoy, Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam, delivered an excellent presentation including a well developed PowerPoint slideshow.

Mayor Stewart reported that 2010 was an amazingly successful year due to the preparation of previous years. Coquitlam is, perhaps, one of the fastest changing cities east of Vancouver and it has a large future. Massive infrastructure developments took place throughout Coquitlam during 2010. Presently the Portmann Bridge is being changed to ten lanes, mostly on the Coquitlam side, and the Coquitlam approaches are now being constructed.

In continuing to speak on future developments, Mayor Stewart reported that the Evergreen SkyTrain line should be completed in 2014 and of the $1.4 billion needed for this, $1.2B has already been committed with $200M coming from the private sector.

One of the slides in the presentation depicted Spirit Square. It was interesting to hear that the word Coquitlam means “red fish up river” referring to the spawning salmon, so it is not surprising that in Spirit Square there is a beautiful statue of a salmon, quite prominently on display in this fitness and sports facility.

In concluding his presentation, Mayor Stewart spoke of Education and especially International Education in Coquitlam. Home to the David Lam Campus of Douglas College, more international students are expected to enroll and continue its reputation of graduating with very high grades!

We thank Mayor Stewart for offering an excellent presentation and he willingly answered questions of the audience. In thanking the Mayor, Fin Donnelly was equally articulate and, as MP for New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody, has worked with the Mayor, and included his admiration in his closing remarks.

Nick brought the meeting to an end by reminding the Directors that the next meeting is Wednesday, March 16 in the Plaskett Room.

There is a change of routine for our next dinner meeting, as it will be held on the FIFTH Tuesday of March (not the fourth), which is Tuesday, March 29. We look forward to welcoming our guest speaker Wendy J. Scott, RN, who will speak on Nurse Next Door.

Calvin again closed the meeting with God Save the Queen and we thank him for his musical talents!

See you in March!

Best wishes,