When my wife and I moved from Abbotsford to Hedley a year ago, our friends couldn’t comprehend our reasons for turning our backs on the amenities and glitter of city life. Living in a small community with no McDonalds, Starbucks and numberless quality restaurants, plus no Canuck games, nearby movie theatres or opera, was to them like departing from the known world. They could not fathom an existence in a community with no doctors, banks, supermarkets, malls or automobile dealerships.
Moving to Hedley has made us aware of another way of living. Instead of depending only on government agencies to look after them, people help each other. If an elderly person needs a ride to see a doctor, almost invariably, someone offers to take them. When a cancer patient needed financial assistance to travel to a specialist in Vancouver, there was a contribution box in the Country Market. There seems to be an understanding that to survive as individuals and as a community, we need to be willing when help is needed.
We have seen that there is a core group that strives to make Hedley an interesting, vibrant community. One example of this is the pancake breakfast hosted by the members of the Hedley Seniors Center. On the second Sunday of each month they invite the community to a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausages or bacon. At $5 a plate it’s a delicious bargain.
This summer the Community Club again sponsored a barbeque and street dance. Great food and wonderful music. The band’s rendition of Johnny B. Goode wowed the crowd. At only $10, it was another bargain we never encountered in the city.
In October the Hedley Museum Society sponsored a lavish Thanksgiving dinner. They spoiled us with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, pie, and more.
For some years the Hedley Grace Church has organized a bottle drive to send children to camp. Throughout the year, people contribute bottles and cans, and sometimes money. Twice a year the contributions are sorted and bagged at the fire hall. This is done by church people, children who attend the camp, and others who consider it a good cause.
The Fire Department, like all the groups, is manned by hard working committed volunteers. They practise every Tuesday evening to ensure the best possible skill and fitness level.
We love the abundant sunshine, enjoy the people and appreciate the clean air. The amenities of the city we came from really cannot compare. These are just a few benefits of small town living.