What Bugs Me

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Know what bugs me: These people who come to visit the Sunshine Coast, stay in someone’s cottage, enjoy the uncrowded beaches, the laid-back atmosphere, the fresh air, the quietness. . . they go home, check with their local realtor and buy a piece of land here. They loved it here, so they want to live here. They buy a beautiful treed half-acre and then reason departs them. They strip the whole lot of everything that is green or resembles nature, they black-top part of it, mulch the rest and build a house that should have been left in the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. They install their kids in school and then set to work trying to make our town like the one they left. They want more facilities, more golf course, more stores, more conveniences, more entertainment. They want what they left. But the topping of this is that they are often the ones who head over on the ferry on weekends to do their shopping. Now, can anyone tell me, why would such a person go to all the trouble of buying, building and moving if all they want to do is have here what they left? And if they expect more here, why wouldn’t they put their money here in the community? Do they not see that if all that they left is here, if they change what is here, it is no longer the beautiful, quiet, laid back place with fresh air that they loved in the first place? Can’t they see that they are trying to make the Sunshine Coast the extension of the city they left? What we have here is unique, lovely and just a little inconvenient and that is what we like about being here. I know teenagers who have started a band, a father who has taught his sons to sketch, to fish to make bows and arrows, kids who volunteer at Habitat, clean the beaches, make life better for their neighbours. They will not be the bored kids of the future. They are learning how to make life interesting as opposed to being entertained. We still have the option here. Let’s be grateful for that and enjoy what we have before it is all bulldozed into eternity.
Thanks for letting me express this, because it really bugs me.

©1993 Sharron R. McMillan Published in The Leader newspaper, Dean McPherson’s column.

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