Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. Photo: Rame Kader

Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. Photo: Rame Kader

Column: Reflecting on my three months in Creston

“My big takeaway from my time here is the great sense of community that exists in Creston. Community is at the heart of this town, and what I’ve noticed is that residents are always thinking and acting for the benefit of their neighbours”

With this week’s issue being the last for October, I decided that this would be an appropriate time to reflect on my three months here in Creston.

I arrived in town on Aug. 1, almost three months ago. It’s a little hard to believe, because it feels like more time has passed since then. But at the same time, three months sounds about right.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time here as the editor/reporter of the Advance. The job has presented a number of great opportunities that have allowed me to get to know Creston and its history more. I’ve chatted with a lot of interesting characters, met so many lovely residents and covered a wide range of stories. There’s a lot going on for what many describe as a retirement town.

I have to say, of all the stories that I’ve covered, the most that I am proud of is the three-part series I wrote that chronicled the life of Anne Jimmie, a Lower Kootenay Band Elder and residential school survivor.

I learned a lot just by speaking and hearing from Anne, and I’m glad that I was able to share what she told me with readers. The series has garnered a lot of positive feedback, and I am quite happy that I’ve helped create more understanding and awareness around Indigenous peoples and the residential school system.

READ MORE: Saving the inner child: The Healing Journey

But my big takeaway from my time here is the great sense of community that exists in Creston. Community is at the heart of this town, and what I’ve noticed is that residents are always thinking and acting for the benefit of their neighbours. There are a lot of kind, selfless and generous folks in town who have made me feel accepted in the Creston community, and that has made the job a whole lot easier.

People really do care and support one another here, and it’s comforting, to say the least. In a time where many people and businesses are struggling immensely due to the pandemic, it’s really heartwarming to see residents in town be there for one another.

A brief but great example of this sense of community supporting community here in town is when residents stepped up to keep Gleaners Too going.

I’ve been following the situation at Gleaners Too for over a month now, and at one point I thought they were going to shut it down altogether, because from what I gathered, it sounded like they were having a really hard time getting volunteers.

But instead of closing, what happened was that several members of the community realized how important this business is to the community, so they stepped up to fill in those much-needed volunteer roles.

READ MORE: Creston Gleaners Too to remain open

I’m honoured to have been blessed with so many unique, inspiring and memorable experiences in just my three months here. Learning about the town has also allowed me to learn more about myself, and I am excited to see what the next three months will look like.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


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