My sister-in-law, now deceased, used to live on White Rock’s Fir Street.
Moving from Vancouver Island, I came to the area imbued with good memories of White Rock as a small, friendly town with resort assets. Immediate disillusion followed. What I found was not an attractive town but an urban travesty seemingly wrought by reconstructive sadists.
Deciding to keep quiet, I resolved not to compare the beauty of the Comox Valley with the ugly ruin of White Rock. Then two letters appeared in the Peace Arch News on April 13, one headed “Pay parking a slippery slope,” the other “Destruction of my old city.”
My resolve dissolved. Something so bizarre about the broken town struck me as being almost amusing – the way baggy, bumbling clowns amuse. Dumber than all the other performers combined. Not exceptionally, such clowns exist also outside the Big Tent.
White Rock to my mind is a grasping, avaricious, uncaring town. A dusty, dirty construction site, where beautiful big trees are callously cut down; shopping plazas offer right-turns only; with high-rent or condo-oriented highrises under construction; muffler-less cars roaring, justifiably unafraid of police intervention; pay-parking at the hospital – not allowed at Nanaimo and Courtenay hospitals – regardless of day or night, and along the shoreline promenade where a single mom with kids might otherwise afford a day’s outing.
Dirty public washrooms, to which a councillor’s comment, as quoted, was an instructive, “They have been like that for years,” or words to that effect. Evincing indifference.
I could go on.
White Rock has become ‘White Crock,’ on par with the despoilment of Banff and Whistler, beautiful small towns now habitat failures all. Not ‘Surrey,’ but ‘sorry.’ As I am sorry having ever returned.
Finn Schultz-Lorentzen, Surrey