Past Steelhead Community Association Board Chair, Mark Diamond, and past Board Co-Chair, Cindy Diamond, served on our board of directors for 25 years collectively before stepping down from the board in December 2016.
We are grateful to them for the significant investment of time, energy and passion they have given to the Steelhead Community throughout the years.
Mark and Cindy have written the open letter to the Steelhead Community Association that appears below and have asked that we share it with those in the Steelhead Community.
Hello fellow Steelheaders. It is with mixed emotions that I am writing this letter. Mark and I have sat on the Steelhead Executive Board of Directors collectively for 25 years. Mark joined the Community Hall Project team in 2007 and was voted in as Chair in June 2009. I was voted in as a Director on the Board in 1998 – 2006 and then the past ten years as Co Chair. During this time we have been honoured to represent this community at a great number of meetings and to liaison with the District of Mission, Forestry Division, Road maintenance/planning and safety issues; BC Hydro and the ILM line, different levels of the local and provincial governments, the Mission School District and school busing, BC’s Mining Authority, TELUS, Lookieloo, Shaw, Teal Jones and various other agencies regarding community safety and recreation.
For those of you new to the neighbourhood, the SCA was first created as the Steelhead Recreational Society and was mainly to organize fun social events for the community. The original community hall was on Dewdney Trunk Road across and down from the old Waddell’s Rest home (on the way to the dump). After the hall burned down the Steelhead Recreational Society then sold that property to the District of Mission and the proceeds put into a bank account where it sat dormant for many years. After that the Mission School Board leased the old Steelhead school (which is where our current community hall is situated) to the Steelhead Recreational Society and the community used that as a meeting and social place. After the school fell into disrepair and no one including the Mission School Board had the funds to keep it going, the Steelhead Recreational Society just sort of died out. The Mission School Board then passed/sold the land to District of Mission.
Mark and I moved to Steelhead in 1994 and the next few years there were many events that transpired which demanded the community’s attention. A few of us Steelheaders got together and decided we should resurrect the SCA Board with the bit of seed money sitting in a bank account from the sale of the original community hall property. We changed the focus to civic concerns but kept the social aspect and applied for and received Society (and nonprofit) status. We took turns hosting the monthly meetings and social events in our homes. It was at one such meeting the idea of rebuilding the hall was formed…..
We are both very proud and honoured to have been there at the very beginning of the Community Hall Project and to have seen it to completion! Milestones met by the SCA Board along the way were many from acquiring the 50 year lease on the property from the District of Mission for $1; numerous cash donations with BC Hydro being first on board with $25,000; Permissive tax exemption applied for and approved every 2/3 years; Major Capital Grant of $100,000; thousands of dollars in community grants from the District of Mission, with the last grant being from the Forestry Division for $25,000 to help get the hall to completion. There were many dedicated volunteers from Steelhead who gave of their time and energy, their equipment and many times even materials! The Steelhead community hall project also received contributions from those outside the community whom donated their time and expertise and were invaluable to the successful completion of the hall! The benefits the hall contributes to the health of our community are immense. Mayor Randy Hawes has said he uses the Steelhead community as an example to other communities on what can be done if people work and pull together. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
The first celebration was the hall’s Grand Opening on Oct 1st and surpassed my expectations! The band Smoking Mary rocked the house and it was a party unique to Steelhead to recognize and acknowledge all the years that went in to the planning and the building of our beautiful hall. The fact that the Steelhead community was asked to participate in Mission’s Cultural week was also a special honour! We are on their map now!
I am very proud of the work we have done as a Board to improve our community. The SCA’s mandate is to provide and encourage social interaction and activities of a recreational, athletic, cultural, and community nature, with healthful benefits to all residents in our remote area, from seniors to young people. We have a history rich in spirit in a community bound together by virtue of our remote mountain location and climes. This was never more evident than in the snowmagden we have just experienced. At times our roads and driveways were treacherous and almost impassable if it wasn’t for the generous community members out there removing fallen trees and plowing in their trucks and machines helping one another out.
Mark and I have put a lot of our heart and soul into serving the Steelhead community and truly love where we live so it is with very mixed emotions I am writing this letter. Mark Diamond, Chair of the Steelhead Community Association (Society) and I the Co Chair had thought we would step down at the next Annual General Meeting now that the community hall is complete however circumstances beyond our control demanded we hand in our resignations in December 2016.
Over the years, the SCA Board of Directors have been a dedicated and hard working group of community members. We all did our best to get the hall built and our community interested and involved!
We thank those who have supported us over the past 18 years.
Mark and Cindy Diamond