Letters to the Editor

Farewell, Kootenay Ice; Full Service, Please; Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

The Spirit Of The Game

“Hockey a game played on ice skates, with curved sticks and a hard rubber disk or puck.” Without all these most basic elements the game we all love so much could not be played.

But when we all realize that when you put all those elements in the hands of players of all ages and at all levels something magical in the name of the game of hockey happens. It is amazing to me what wonderful memories have been created by showing undying support for a hockey team. Whether we have given it any thought or not by standing by our team in a devoted sense and being there for our team in good times and bad, a shinning tradition has been created, our hockey present now becomes part of our hockey past but a past we can all be proud of.

I refuse to show any ill will for the present owners for moving the team I love so much. What instead I will always dwell on is how much of an honor and privilege it has been to have supported each and every single dedicated player that has dawned the Kootenay Ice sweater whether they have won or lost, they have all given themselves up to the honorable spirit of the game for for us as fans.

Equally I can not express what a high honor and privilege it has been to have created new friendships and associations along the way over the last 20 years. These friendships will endure and no matter what, will last a life time for me. These are wonderful people and are a part of what has created the proud tradition that is Ice hockey today. These are cherished friendships and we all share in the spirit of this game we all love so much.

When big money takes over, owners seem to over look the most important parts of what they have invested in. Those parts being we the fans and the great young players that play the game. And again in our case the fans and players are caught in the middle.

So I say a fond farewell to what has been like a good friend to me and my wife and a wonderful 20-year experience of being associated to something that I consider to have been nothing but good and exciting.

Let’s all be proud in remembering our hockey traditions and what the true meaning of what Ice Hockey has meant to us as a community. This is the greatest team sport on earth

James LeClair/Cranbrook

Full Service, Please

About two months ago the last full-service gas station in Cranbrook became self-serve. Where did that leave senior citizens and people with disabilities? Out in the cold!

While there is no legal requirement for service stations to provide staff to fill gas tanks, surely there is a moral obligation for there to be at least one in a community the size of Cranbrook. So which company is willing to do the right thing and start pumping gas for those who find it a serious hardship, especially in winter? I truly believe you will be rewarded both personally and financially!

Providing services to those who need them the most is the true sign of a community that cares. I look forward to stopping by at whatever station steps forward – thanks!

Wayne Stetski/MP for Kootenay Columbia

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. thanks the people of Cranbrook and the entire East Kootenay region for their encouraging response to January’s annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and to our campaign intended to challenge stigma surrounding the disease: “Yes. I live with dementia. Let me help you understand.”

Recently, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences released a report by a panel of dementia experts highlighting priorities for a national dementia strategy, work undertaken by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2018. The authors emphasized the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles that might prevent or delay dementia, as well as overcoming stigma and fear of living with dementia. They stressed that it’s possible to live well with the disease.

Increasingly, when we talk about raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we need to talk about challenging stigma. Negative attitudes about the disease mean that when someone begins to suspect that they – or someone close to them – might have dementia, they are less likely to seek out a diagnosis. They’re less likely disclose their situation to others. Worrying that someone will judge them or think of them as being less of a person means people are less likely to ask for help.

The dementia journey can be incredibly isolating. When we talk openly about the disease and challenge preconceived notions, people living with dementia begin to feel like they aren’t alone and can ask for help. They can better prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. Communities play a key role in helping people living with dementia, their families and caregivers feel like they belong, just by being aware of the disease and actively engaged with learning more about it.

With over half a million Canadians currently living with dementia – a number that will only grow as the population ages – it has never been so important to be open to having a conversation about dementia. It’s never been so important to change the conversation.

Though Awareness Month is now over, you can still visit ilivewithdementia.ca. Find tips on how to be more dementia friendly, as well as resources to take action against stigma and be better informed about a disease that has the potential to affect every single one of us. You can also use the hashtag #ilivewithdementia to help spread the word.

We would like to thank our local staff and volunteers for their work. We also appreciate the local media’s coverage of dementia issues. The stories help foster a better understanding of the impact this disease has on local families and help the Alzheimer Society of B.C. work towards our goal of a dementia-friendly province.

If your family lives with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, please can call the First Link® Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033 and visit www.alzheimerbc.org.

Mary Beth Rutherford/Support & Education Coordinator,/First Link/Alzheimer Society of B.C.

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