Welcome: current and
former members, guests, and neighbours…..
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all this afternoon to our 30th anniversary party… we are celebrating 30 years of View Court existing, growing, thriving as a housing co-op and five years of being mortgage free!
View Court is more than two beautiful, 100-year old buildings and a lovely garden space. It is home for the almost forty folks who live here. We are a mixed-income community providing sustainable, affordable, and secure housing for our members. Considering the current cost of housing and real estate here in Vancouver – that is no mean feat and it is definitely something for us to be proud of.
As members of View Court, we engage in caring for our home through collective energy and shared responsibility. Like a garden, a co-op can be seen as an organic body; a system of healthy, mutual interdependence and relationship that connects us to cycles of growth, nourishment, and rest. The strength and resiliency of our co-op community is evidence of the depth of contribution and participation by members both past and present.
I would particularly like to acknowledge long-term members Kristin, Michelle (the elder), Donna, & Ken who have been actively involved here for over 25 years. As well as other long-term members: Penny, Dan, Dave, John, Kerry, & Ned. Thank you for your commitment to the well being of our co-op.
I have a memory from my first general meeting – the discussion was tense as the co-op was fairly divided at that time … I remember thinking: “what have I got myself into?”! Yet I was impressed that despite the disagreements, everyone was still speaking to each other; respectfully and continuing to engage in co-op process.
This commitment to the process and ongoing creation of View Court will be much needed in the years ahead as we embark in some serious remediation projects to help our 100-year old buildings continue to house us. So I would like to offer appreciation to all of those members who are involved in our capital planning and remediation projects – most especially Grant, Sonja, & Robin who are the planning core of our imminent electrical rewiring project.
As a species we are facing environmental challenges and working co-operatively is crucial in our attempts to address these challenges. In fact, next year, 2012, is international year of cooperatives. Our “green group” is helping our community become aware of more ecological sustainable choices and options. We have a successful recycling program, are improving our composting, and our gardening group plans are beginning to include food security, as is demonstrated by the berry bushes, fruit trees, and veg boxes here in our backyard. Beloved and former member Peter Royce contributed much to the early visioning of both the green group and our garden space. He generously allocated money in his estate for the mulberry tree as well as the artisanal picnic table – we can remember his keen participation as we share this space. I would also like to acknowledge Jamie for his extensive and seemingly inexhaustible green vision!
We have much to celebrate, so please enjoy the good food, beverages, and each other’s company this afternoon. While I have specifically acknowledged many members, truly it is the on-going participation of all members - the contributions, visioning, and actions both large & small that continue to allow us to call View Court our home.
I feel gratitude and appreciation to be living here, to participate in the relational engagement of community building. May others also have opportunity for similarly secure, affordable housing in a vibrant community.