Creston Mayor Ron Toyota congratulates Darren Douma for his success in the Australian and world blind golf championships.

Creston Mayor Ron Toyota congratulates Darren Douma for his success in the Australian and world blind golf championships.

2014 in Review: A look back at May in the Creston Valley

Web Lead

  • Dec. 27, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Editor Brian Lawrence compiled this brief look back at some of the goings on in the Creston Valley over the last 12 months, gleaned from the pages of the Advance.

1Homelinks would continue unchanged for 2014-15 and remain in the Creston Education Centre (CEC), School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) trustees decided at the April 22 regular board meeting. More consultation, with the intent to move Homelinks out of CEC, would be undertaken in the current school year. A survey of parents indicated that 19 families with at least 40 students would relocate, at a cost of $342,000 in lost funding to the school district.

•After guiding thousands of Adam Robertson Elementary School students through the process of making wooden birdhouses and cars, 71-year-old counsellor and social worker Gary Smith planned to leave the woodshop behind, retiring in June.

“I find it easier to slide stuff to kids when they’re engaged in an activity,” he said. “All they know is that they’re playing.”

8 — Goaltender Matt Armitage became the first Creston player to be selected in the Western Hockey League draft when the 14-year-old was chosen by the Spokane Chiefs in the fourth round of the draft held May 1. He had 23 wins and 13 losses in 2013-2014, putting up a 2.72 goals-against average and a 9.2 save percentage. He had five shutouts and was named the game’s most valuable player 11 times.

Physician recruiter Marilin States was presented with a BC Community Achievement Award in Victoria on April 29. “She is a great ambassador for the Creston Valley and her efforts have resulted in providing her community with stable medical care,” said words read at the ceremony.

15 — “The heart and soul of the community” is the description used by the BC Recreation and Parks Association in awarding the Facility Excellence Award to Creston and District Community Complex. The Regional District of Central Kootenay, which operates the facility, should be congratulated for efforts that “exemplify how much the parks, recreation, physical activity and culture section can contribute to a high quality of life in our communities,” it said.

•Students in the Aboriginal education program at Creston Valley schools were particularly busy, putting the finishing touches on their regalia for the fourth annual School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) youth powwow (photos here) at the Creston and District Community Complex.

“It is a very important part of our Aboriginal culture, so it is very important to us and others to keep this part going,” said Jackie Mynott, the Prince Charles Secondary School aboriginal education youth worker.

22 — After a lifetime of public service — from the Army to journalism to volunteering with charities and non-profits — Peter Hepher was named the 2014 citizen of the year at the May 16 Creston Valley Blossom Festival opening ceremonies.

“I didn’t think I was deserving of it,” he said. “I’m very honoured. There are a lot of other people more deserving.”

At the age of 93, Hepher was still involved with several community organizations:

29Darren Douma was the second-place overall winner of the 2014 World Blind Golf Championships and Australian Blind Golf Open, which ran May 9-18. He competed in his sight category, B3, in both events, playing against golfers at the Nelson Bay Golf Club in New South Wales, Australia. In 2005, the 42-year-old was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, an incurable and rare genetic juvenile form of macular degeneration, affecting central fine vision.

Clara Hughes, who won six Olympic medals in speed skating and cycling, stopped in Creston as part of a 110-day Clara’s Big Ride circle tour that started in Eastern Canada and took her through Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon before turning south to Vancouver. The event at the Lower Kootenay Band also included presentations by Chief Jason Louie, Dr. Randy Grahn, Barb Basil, Angie Louie and Anne Jimmie.

•Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary School students Drew Rideout ( then in Grade 12), Daelin Smith and Daniel Wensick (Grade 8), and Iyra Couling (Grade 7) were developing a weather balloon, with the goal of having it record temperature, pressure and video at an altitude of about 40 kilometres. A launch date was unknown. (According to an Oct. 8 post on their blog,, the project is ongoing, but has fallen behind, while Rideout attends the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.)