Saturday, 30 September 2017

September Quarterly Director’s Report

Greetings! We hope you all had a chance to enjoy the glorious summer weather we had and are back into the swing of the coming fall season.

Although your board is now following a quarterly meeting schedule format, directors were still quite busy working in and for our communities during our summer recess. 

Membership Drive

We started our membership drive this summer by revising the old OPSRRA membership brochures to a new format and hosting an information booth at Shirley Day on Saturday August 18 on the grounds of the Shirley Community Hall. Many thanks go out to our OPSRRA member volunteers Bob and Heather Phillips, Alison and David Maule-Kronmiller, and board directors Wendy Morton and Brenda Mark, who worked the booth tirelessly that day answering questions about OPSRRA and enrolled over ten new members! 

We’re also hoping to host our next booth at the Sooke Fall Fair Arts and Crafts show on November 17-19, as well as other opportunities. If you would like to volunteer and help us host the OPSRRA booth at this next event, please contact us by email at

Community Signage

OPSRRA is submitting a request letter to Mike Hicks for funding from CRD and/or B.C. Hydro to erect community signage (“Welcome to Jordan River”) at the east and west borders of the Jordan River along Highway 14 (West Coast Road) given the deteriorating state of existing signs. The new signage would be of a similar wood design to that of Shirley and Otter Point, and symbolize the importance of the Jordan River community to the social, economic and environmental welfare of our electoral region. We will keep you posted.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, and/or you wish to volunteer your time and assistance in any way at 

In the meantime, have a safe and wonderful fall, everyone, and we hope to see you at our General Meeting on November 5!

Jordan River Rezoning

As you’ve probably also heard and/or read, our community members in Jordan River presented their concerns and inputs to the Shirley/Jordan River Advisory Planning Commission (APC), at their meeting on August 2, 2017, around a proposed re-zoning by-law (Bylaw # 4188) for the hamlet, rezoning the properties being sold there to a new Restricted Development–Flood Hazard Area (RD-1) zone.  OPSRRA has also prepared a submission to the LUC, supporting APC’s motions regarding proposed Bylaw # 4188. A representative from the OPSRRA board will be attended an Information Session on September 22, 2017.

Update: Highway 14 Safety and Access

Some of you may recall, from our AGM in the spring, discussions regarding safety and access issues along Hwy 14 in our communities. Although this has been a very long-standing issue, we have been hearing increasing concerns from our communities and social media, via our FaceBook page, as well as neighbouring municipalities, on the issues of road safety, speed of some vehicles (particularly industrial vehicles and motorcycles) and increased traffic volumes which have hampered both the public road safety and the smooth movement of traffic along this important artery. 

These concerns have been expressed through the launch of social media campaigns such as the #DividedBy14 initiated by Sooke residents, as well as our CRD Director contacting forest companies re: early/late hour noise of un-muffled motorcycles and unsafe speeds of industrial truck traffic travelling through our communities. At the September 5th board meeting, OPSRRA directors drafted and are sending a letter to our MLA, the Honourable John Horgan expressing our concerns about access and safety including the lack safe pullouts and signage, unsafe shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists, the need for more traffic and speed enforcement and the increased number of accidents. 

Directors have also decided to host a General Membership meeting this fall to discuss safety and access Issues along Hwy 14 and explore possibilities for improvement. Details are still being worked out, but please hold the date of Sunday November 5 at 1:30 PM in the JdF Services Building (3–7450 Butler Road, Otter Point) for this important meeting.

Update: Cell Towers

The proposed placement of new cell towers by Freedom Mobile on Kemp Lake Road in Otter Point (one of two) has also been a topic of concern these past few months with respect to potential effects on health, property value and aesthetics.  We have been supporting community members in taking these concerns to the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee (LUC) and communicating with CRD (Capital Regional District) on this issue. OPSRRA recognizes the importance of improved cell reception in our communities for a variety of reasons. However, we also maintain that our unincorporated communities and the associations that help to represent them, such as OPSRRA, need to be duly consulted on the locations of these towers and other infrastructure to the same extent as municipal districts to ensure these concerns are addressed. 

We have been corresponding with our regional director, Mike Hicks, to request that OPSRRA also be consulted on these issues as part of the process so that we can more effectively support our community members and work collaboratively with agencies to find optimal solutions for all. CRD has confirmed that OPSRRA will receive information packages from telecommunications providers in our communities in the future. This will help to keep us in the loop and give us the opportunity to air the concerns of our members.

Shirley Day 2017

I went to the Shirley Days event.  It was my first time. OPSRRA had a booth and many people were interested in the issues, our enthusiasm for the values of our rural communities. I spoke to young farmers, people enthusiastic about the land, the environment: many people who had a clear idea of the world they wanted to live in. We signed up a number of new members.

Fiona wrote:

The Shirley Hall and adjacent Pioneer Park were very busy places on Sunday, August 20 when the Shirley Community Association hosted their annual Shirley Day.

There were over 35 vendors and community groups in the park, the Fire Department showcased their equipment and fire trucks for the public, a very popular closed bid auction was held in the hall, the Shirley kitchen produced its usual yummy fare, the Salmon BBQ was well attended, there were activities for the children …all contributing to an extremely successful day raising over $5500 for the maintenance of our 75+-year-old Shirley Hall and Pioneer Park. 

Shirley Day could not occur without its very hard working volunteers. Specifically, Mary Dunn, our Shirley Day CEO, Fern Dunn and Jennifer Taylor who organized all the vendors in the park, Colin McMechan, along with his crew of Mel Kimmel, Bernard Sauve, Michael Scott and Judith Carder kept the kitchen humming, Sean Rafferty and Malcolm Taylor, our jacks of all trades, Christian and Pascale Knoglinger, BBQ chefs extraordinare, Penny and Les Hilliard who contributed to the BBQ, Robin Fleming and Grant Richardson who went above and beyond to source donations to our closed bid auction, Karen Fonger helped with the auction table. Catherine Hawkins who presided over the bake table along with Mary Brown and Donna Allen. Karen Skripitsky and Roseanne Day kept the children entertained in the park. Colleen Minten, Karen VanVeen and Jean Conway who took in the money for the concession and BBQ dinner. Fiona McDannold looked after advertising and Chuck Minten placed all the road signs.

As well, we are very grateful to the 56 people/organizations and local businesses who donated to the Closed Bid Auction.

The Shirley Community Association was established in 1934 and the Shirley Hall was constructed in 1937 on donated land on the corner of what is now West Coast Road and Sheringham Point Road. The Shirley Community Association has evolved from those days, yet we remain true to the tradition of community spirit and volunteerism.  

The Association provides and maintains the Shirley Hall and Pioneer Park as facilities for:

  • Public and private events;
  • A base for the JDF Emergency Response, Shirley Chapter, and the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department;
  • A home to the Shirley Quilter’s and Crafters, and the Shirley Women’s Institute;
  • As a venue for various recreational programs;
  • A weekly summer Sunday market;
  • A green space for travellers to enjoy a picnic lunch.

The Association also hosts Shirley Day on the third Sunday in August each year, and spring and fall craft fairs.