I have a dream, a dream that one day White Rockians will embrace the railway that stitches together their splendid waterfront.
I dream of the day when city politicians will proclaim the third week of August Railway Week. Mayor Wayne Baldwin will bow graciously at the feet of Miss Railway Daze, raise the golden, spiked crown, and set it gently upon her head. Proffering his white-gloved hand, he will assist her onto her throne, placed high upon a decorated flatcar. Then the gandy dancers, young men from the city’s playing fields, will heave to, and draw her along the shiny rails to the pier, to be greeted by thousands of cheering railway enthusiasts.
I dream of the day when rail fans from North America, Europe and the Far East will descend upon White Rock to enjoy the sport of train spotting. They will position their cameras on the specially constructed viewing platforms.
There, they will vie with each other for the coveted Grant Meyer trophy, a silver spike awarded for the most dramatic shot of a passing train.
I dream of the day when teachers will bring their little ones to the waterfront. Specially trained docents will escort them from mural to mural, pointing out the locomotives and the wide variety of rail cars. They will pause at the station, point to the illustrations in the windows and speak of White Rock’s grand railway history. Then, beneath the shade of the royal empress trees, old timers will regale the wee ones with stories of their days working on the railroad.
I dream of the day when cliffside residents will slumber peacefully while eye-level strobe lights warn late-night joggers of passing trains. Arcing over each gateway, a rainbow will ignite to give warning of the friendly behemoth’s approach.
I have a dream, a dream that one day trains and pedestrians will live in serene harmony, and travellers will come from far and near to celebrate life in our City by the Sea.
Robert Ramsay, Surrey