Monday, 27 June 2016 16:21

Oasis Opening President's Speech

Tuesday, June 21st, as part of the Auxiliary AGM, the Oasis was officially opened:

  1. Good afternoon Sit if you have a place.  Your Honour, Auxiliary members, Island Health Chair Don Hubbard, Mayor Screech of View Royal, Mayor Hamilton of Colwood, Mayor Finall of North Saanich, Mayor Price of Sidney, and friends of the Auxiliary.  Welcome all.  I am Val Smith Auxiliary President and your MC today.
    I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations on whose traditional territory we are gathered today.
  2. I think Her Honour must have already won the prize as the busiest Lieutenant Governor in BC history.  We are thrilled that she has come to VGH to open our Oasis.  Let me introduce Lieutenant Governor Her Honour Judith Guichon.
  3. I’ve seen lots of sod-turning and ribbon-cuttings gone awry.  With a little luck the scissors will work, the ribbon won’t fall, and HH can declare the Oasis open.
  4. We wracked our brains to come up with the perfect thank you gift for Her Honour.  It had to be useful and inexpensive.  We found it!  One of our fund-raisers is selling Purdy’s chocolate in the concourse and they are now providing us with decadent salted caramels and hedgehogs and here is a sample.  Thank you so much.
  5. The Island Health CEO Dr. Carr is away.  Of the wide range of Vice Presidents, there are two that we want to acknowledge:  Joe Murphy, who gave us permission to build this Oasis also AWOL at an important meeting,  and Kathy MacNeil who is directly responsible for Auxiliaries.  Kathy.....

It is a thrill to have taken on the Oasis project and it is even  more of a thrill that it is officially named “Oasis@3North:  A project of the AUXILIARY.  It’s rare that an Auxiliary gets to name things.  Before I let you eat and greet Her Honour, I’d like to give credit where credit is due:

A word for the View Royal Volunteers and RBC who provided volunteers who assembled furniture all day Friday. 

RBC’s Branch Manager Rick Eigler is providing this lovely cheque.  I don’t think it will fit in the night deposit though.

I cold-called Quality Foods who were building their brand new beautiful store just over there, and a lovely woman named Dianna Rivard (put up your hand) took all of 5 minutes to commit to donating to the Oasis.  Here is Jordan Schley, the Quality Food Eagle Creek Manager with an even bigger bigger cheque.

Hold your applause as I ask all of these wonderful people donating to this project to come up too.

  • Edibella Organic Landscapes who created all this
  • Garside Signs for many decals & many signs
  • Academy Dental
  • Victoria Memory Clinic
  • Kent Fullarton
  • Subway
  • Cobs Bread
  • Cascadia Liquor
  • Starbucks
  • Sylvia Van Kirk
  • Blackwood Partners Management
  • the tent is provided by Jeune Brothers
  • and lastly my good friend and Howard’s choral director, Sue Doman, and keyboardist Bob & Sylvia Goodwin.  Sue Doman has been a performing vocalist for over 45 years – must be a misprint --across Canada and in the US. In addition to her work as a vocalist, she’s also an accomplished choral conductor and has directed numerous Victoria-based groups including Newcombe Singers, Friends of Government House Singers, Victoria Broadway Chorus and her most recent creation, Starlight Pops. She’s says she’s delighted to be part of this grand occasion! and we are equally delighted.  Bob Goodwin has many years of experience accompanying and/or directing Victoria-based groups including the Victoria Male Voice Choir, Masques Theatre, Spot-On Theatre, Island Singers and Spirit Rising Community Choir. In addition, Bob and his wife Sylvia have been performing together as a piano-vocal duo Victoria for 25 years.
  • There’s “the guy”.  He’s the VGH building guy.  Without him there would be no Oasis.  He has provided endless advice, help, advice, co-operation and advice through the maze of scopes and purchase orders and bureaucracy  rules and regs and we love him, Paul Coultas.
  • We appreciate the support from our Board and Auxiliary members who have done lots for the Oasis and for this event.  Please all come up too
  • Lastly but not leastly.....She came to VGH as our new Site Manager and we thought she was very personable and friendly.  She asked if the Auxiliary could see their way to paying for some benches out front.  Sure, we said.  Then she said that they really needed more push chairs and there was nowhere in the budget to pay for them, so we agreed to buy them too.  When she asked for plants in the cafeteria, it was a harder sell, but members finally agreed.  Little did we know that these were only a warm up to the main event.  The next thing I knew, I was being toured around this bleak rooftop.  I should have heard the warning bells, but she had me.  After a great deal of toing and froing on our side and their side, we eventually committed to spending something north of $75,000 to rehab this site.  Let me introduce this most innovative, convincing, and creative Site Manager, Deborah Cracknell.

Thanks for sharing this with us.