Appearing in The Vision Paper on September 3, 2003

By: Robert Kirwan
Publisher: Valley East Today


Pierre Charette, owner of The Vision Paper, and I were talking the other week about Valley East. Both of us have been in the publication business for some time and it is our job to be aware of the pulse of the community.

As we spoke, we both agreed that the community spirit which seemed to peak when we became the "City of Valley East" has gone downhill since amalgamation. Now donít get me wrong. This is not an article that is intended to be a comment on the political state of the region, but more of an article to demonstrate a real need in our community. A need to make some serious choices today that we can live with tomorrow. It is a time for business owners and community leaders to step forward and build a better future for our children by taking some action today.

To illustrate the point, let me share a little story that is a real favourite of mine. It is called, The Carpenter. I donít know who the original author was, but it was obviously a very wise person.


An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favour. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career. When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said. "My gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently."


We all build our life one day at a time. Often we make poor decisions or do things that we regret and then realize that we have to suffer the consequences of those decisions. We know that if we had it to do all over again we would, but we canít turn back the clock. We are forced to live with our decisions - good or bad. Each and every one of us is a carpenter, building our own house. The sooner we realize that it is our house and that we will have to live in it for the rest of our life, the sooner we will start weighing the consequences of our "construction". We will then put our best efforts into the building so that we will be able to enjoy the comforts and security of these good decisions and choices. Each day of your life you are hammering nails, placing boards or erecting walls in your personal "house".


Before amalgamation, people were generally proud to call Valley East home. Valley East meant something, especially since we could call ourselves the City of Valley East. And then we were asked to build another house. That house was called The City of Greater Sudbury. This was not something we wanted, and most of us were not really excited about constructing this new home.

Now, however, we must realize that regardless of what has happened in the past, we still have to live here. There is no way that we will ever rediscover that strong sense of community we once had in the larger City of Greater Sudbury. It is just too big. We have waited three years and it hasnít happened. Instead, we have witnessed a deterioration of enthusiasm and an exodus of good young people who feel that there is no future here.


Next year we will be celebrating our 100th Anniversary as a community. It is now time for everyone in Valley East to get up, dust off our clothes, and get busy rebuilding our home. It is time to become truly aware of the good things that are going on in Valley East and to support our friends and neighbours in their efforts at improving the quality of life of those around us.

We donít have to wait any longer for things to happen in the Greater Sudbury Area. It is time for Valley East to take the lead and rekindle the kind of community spirit for which we were once known throughout the province.


We have two very effective communication tools at our disposal with which to create the level of awareness which is necessary to develop a strong community spirit. The Vision Paper comes into your home every week. Read it carefully. It contains information about people who make a real difference in the community. It also contains information about the goods and services available from local businesses.

This web site contains a wealth of information about Valley East and should be used by all community leaders to let everyone know about their activities and projects. It is time for us to set the building blocks for a community in which we want to remain for the rest of our lives. Letís build a proud and strong Valley East today that we can be proud of tomorrow!


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