There are times when you have to think quick on your feet and 11-year-old Teresa Pavia of Brooklyn, New York knows all about that.
Pavia visits Qualicum Beach with her mother Ellen for two weeks every year to see grandparents Colm and Judy Harty. During her last visit, she was given a Qualicum Beach T-shirt, a garment that proved most useful during a recent Grade 5 school assignment.
“In November last year Teresa’s class had a school project where each student had to wear something that suggested a famous person,” explained Colm Harty. “They had to give some background about their choice. Teresa completely forgot about the project so she had a problem when it came to her turn.”
Fortunately, she was able to wing it — and did so with aplomb.
“She was wearing her Qualicum Beach T-shirt that day so she blurted out ‘I am the mayor of Qualicum Beach,’” Harty said. “She proceeded to tell the class about Qualicum Beach. She got off the hook and was very pleased with herself.”
When her grandparents found out they told Qualicum Beach mayor Westbroek.
“He was very amused and wrote her a letter thanking her for being a good ambassador to New York for Qualicum Beach,” Harty said.
When Pavia and her mother arrived in Qualicum Beach this year they went to visit the mayor at the town hall.
“He spent an hour with them explaining the history of the town and the job of mayor,” Harty said. “They toured the town hall and the council chamber. Teresa also received some souvenirs of her visit.
“This is my best visit to Qualicum Beach ever,” Pavia said.
Harty was certain she learned something valuable from the experience.
“She will of course find a way to use her experience somehow for a future class project,” he said.