For the most part, we are a well-behaved nation of fun-loving, respectful people.
Yes, there are those who would steal flags and get drunk (see story and letter to the editor today), but our observations over the beautifully-warm long weekend gave us hope for the future and pride in our community.
Thousands gathered on the streets of Parksville on Canada Day for the parade. Sure, it was before noon and it was a family event, but in other places a gathering of that many people inevitably includes a fight or a drunk or some kind of police-involved incident.
Fast-forward 12 hours. Crowded around the bay there were even more people watching the fireworks than the parade. They filtered to the water bit by bit, but left in a throng. The potential for incidents was high, but aside from a few people who had to spend some time in the RCMP lock-up for a few hours, and the waft of B.C. bud that you can smell any day in almost any place in this province, people seemed to enjoy themselves and behave in a reasonable manner.
We don’t want to give the impression we were surprised by the lack of bad behaviour. We have come to expect that from Canadians in general, and Parksville Qualicum Beach people specifically. We just feel the need to applaud today, and not take this treat of respectful behaviour for granted.
Community leaders, sponsors and the RCMP all have their roles to play in making these events both safe and enjoyable. Clearly, they all do their jobs well.
At the end of the day, however, it’s up to the people. How many shenanigans and how much drunk behaviour and inappropriate action will we, as a society, tolerate? Not much, despite our tolerant, live-and-let-live attitude. But the line seems clear to all, including young people who may be granted a pass for the occasional wildness by those of us who have been there, done that.
The vast majority of people in Parksville Qualicum Beach, regardless of age or income bracket, seem to understand there is a line, and where that line is, in regards to public behaviour.
We salute you all, and we count ourselves fortunate to be part of this community.
— Editorial by John Harding