Date: 12 March 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbours of Rockland,
I write to you today to advise that after a lengthy discussion with Board members yesterday evening, the AGM scheduled for March 25 has been postponed until October, 2020.
Several factors influenced us in coming to this decision. Primary amongst them is the real concern regarding COVID 19. The board thought it prudent to put off a large group gathering together at Langham Court theatre as a responsible precautionary measure.
Please be assured that we reviewed the RNA charter and by-laws and determined that a delay of our AGM is possible for up to one year. We will be in touch with details on the October AGM as soon as they are finalized.
Pertaining to the safety of our community and membership, for more information on Pandemic preparedness, please visit:
We hope everyone stays safe and healthy over the coming months.
The Rockland community also recently lost two key members of our community.
Long time RNA board member and former treasurer John Edwards passed away after a brief illness. His humour and dedication to the community will be greatly missed. John was a tireless advocate for the RNA and we are grateful for his many contributions. We extend our sympathies to his wife Helen and their family.
We also lost Richard Cane, the Block Watch Captain for the neighborhood around Craigdarroch Castle. Richard was also briefly on the board of RNA. Richard passed away suddenly doing what he loved best, traveling and enjoying life. We will miss Richard and send our condolences to his wife Elizabeth and their family.
Richard and John lived their lives out loud and are an inspiration to us all.
Over the last five years membership numbers have been increasing. But volunteerism has declined. The Board of Directors operated short of two members for 2019 and 2020 brings the numbers down lower. As it stands, we have six dedicated Directors advocating for Rockland, and we require twelve. This includes the role of past president.
Quite frankly, the RNA needs Directors. We need you!
Land Use/Development and Community Input/Involvement
My next update highlights the Board’s significant concern around the future of Neighborhood Associations. Simply put, we believe Neighborhood Associations are in jeopardy. We have concerns and have heard unofficially that the Mayor is planning to meet with Victoria Community Association Network (VCAN) members to discuss Community Association Land Use Committees (CALUC) and cutting funding. This fact and the fact that the RNA has noted a trend of City officials discounting longstanding accepted processes (e.g., community input and a readiness to amend the Official Community Plan) in order to facilitate development.
As you may have heard from me in various forums, the Board is not anti-development. Instead, we advocate for responsible development that takes Rockland’s unique heritage and cultural factors in to consideration. We also feel that community input on proposed development is a fundamental requirement in building strong and healthy communities.
However, in general, the Board believes that:
• adequate consultation is not taking place;
• adherence to Community Plans are not being considered;
• special interest groups may be having influence; and,
• we understand non-Victorians may be making decisions impacting the special qualities that make up Victoria
So what can you do?
• The RNA needs dedicated volunteers as Directors or to be part of part of our various committees.
• Currently Directors have taken on responsibility for Land Use, Communication, Environment, Emergency Preparedness/Traffic/Police Liaison, Treasurer, Membership, Welcoming Committee and Social Committees. These committees need additional support.
• We need your ideas and creativity, and we need your passion and commitment to keeping Rockland a strong and vibrant community.
• Finally, we encourage you to advocate to both the RNA and City of Victoria officials the importance of community input with respect to issues such as Land Use and development.
If you’re interested in volunteering on the Board or on a Board committee, please do not hesitate to email our VP Art Hamilton at email@example.com.
2019 was a banner year for RNA membership. Our 2019 Lieutenant General soiree hosted by Her Honour Janet Austin on September 25th, 2019 was a massive success, with many enjoying an evening with friends and neighbours that involved a live Band, and amazing food and drink. Our thanks to Her Honour and her entire team at Government House.
We also continued our partnership with the Langham Court Theatre and attended a dress rehearsal on January 13th, 2020. Although this last event coincided with a large snowstorm, many of us attended and had a lovely evening. Our thanks to General Manager Michelle Buck and her entire team/cast for their support.
Finally, as some of you may know, I too am stepping down as President primarily due to conflicting obligations with a very busy career and home life. The RNA needs a dedicated President that has ample volunteer time available to devote to the important work of the Association. It is my intent to stay on as Past-President in the short term to assist with the transition.
My sincere thanks to the hard working volunteer Board for their tireless efforts to support the community. Board members that need to be recognized include Bob June, Art Hamilton, Anthony Danda, Sandra Jackman, Chantal Meagher, Dave Clark, Dave McWalter, Danielle McQueen (now retired from Board), and Lawrence Bortoluzzi (now retired from Board).
I must also acknowledge and thank our key partners in the community including the Langham Court Theatre, Craigdarroch Castle, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and, of course, Government House.
Finally, I must mention the excellent collaboration over the years on safety and traffic related issues with the Victoria Police Department, and our assigned City Councillors and staff both past and present, namely Pam Madoff, Geoff Young and Neighbourhood Advisor Gary Pemberton.
It has been an honour to represent this community and to advocate for Rockland as Victoria’s cultural and historical heart and soul.
Rockland Neighbourhood Association