Letters: LGBTQ support available in Penticton

“I’m gay.”

Your son, your brother, your uncle, your father. What do you say back? How can you support them now that they have trusted you? What if a family member says they are a lesbian, transgendered, or not sure of their sexual orientation? Are you uncertain what they mean?

A new branch of PFLAG Canada is here to help. PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is an organization that offers support for parents and family of LGBTQ persons.

PFLAG Canada no longer uses the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays title, we hope to act, and to be seen by the community, as an inclusive organization, there for anyone or any organization affected by the issues facing the LGBTQ community.

Three local individuals have gathered to sponsor this organization. Wilma Perry, a retired psychiatric nurse, has seen firsthand the damage that rejection and persecution cause LGBTQ individuals, whether they are in or out. Brenda Kroschinsky, a retired family life educator in SD 67, has, for years, provided accurate, supportive information about human sexuality to youth in our schools. Ron Smuin, a retired teacher, found his attitudes changing radically when his younger brother Gerry came out to the family in the early 1980s.

For information about PFLAG, check the web at www.pflagcanada.ca, or call Ron at 250-493-5530. Parents, family, friends and members of the LGBTQ community are welcome.

Ron Smuin



Busy month for stamp club

March will be a busy month for the Penticton & District Stamp Club. Besides our regular meeting, we are also hosting the Valley wide OMPA (Okanagan Mainline Philatelic Association) meeting on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is open to the public.

During the last two months we have received quite a few stamp-related material donations that will benefit our club’s charities. We thank all those who make these contributions.

One of the donations came to us because the donor had requested in his will that his entire stamp collection be donated to our club and that monies derived through auction go towards the Penticton hospital. Most of you have seen our ability to do just that recently. We look forward to receiving further donations which can be left at 2600 Cornwall Dr, Penticton or by calling Gus at 250-492-3875 or e-mail: gboersma@telus.net

It is at this time of the year that we offer new members a chance to belong to our club for only $5 until the beginning of September when the new stamp club year starts. Come and see what we are doing and enjoy an afternoon with stamp club members. See you at one of our meetings.

Gus Boersma, President

Penticton & District Stamp Club


Lampooning Harper is boring

How tiresome and boring it is to open the editorial page to a lampoon of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Feb. 28 depiction of him riding a wrecking ball against a wall labeled “environment” wasn’t nasty enough so let’s spice it up and depict him nude.

All I can say is how tedious and boring. When your cartoonist runs out of ideas, no problem. He just goes to his trash can of thought he calls a brain and thinks to himself, I don’t know what to do today. Let’s take a kick at Harper, that is always sure to entertain half our readership.

Oh and let’s spice it up a bit. We’ll get more of a laugh if he is nude and kicking one of our favourite pet subjects, the environment. Why not look for a conservative editorial cartoonist?

No wonder daily and weekly publications have trouble gaining readership. You alienate anyone who disagrees with your liberal (small L) bias.

Jack McNeil



Access Society offers thanks

The Access Society would like to thank all those who helped make the Jazzy Night fundraiser a success. We’d like to thank the Thursday Night Jazz Band for their great music, Mandy, Chris and staff at the Barking Parrot, the Ramada Inn and Suites and BC Wine Information Centre for contributing to the raffle prize and Prospera Credit Union for selling tickets.

Thanks as well to those who contributed by attending the event, and our volunteers, who help to make everything we do possible.

We would also like to thank Shoppers Drug Mart for their contribution of nearly $2,500 from their Tree of Life event. We are very grateful to Shoppers, as well as London Drugs, Riverside Pharmasave, Chatters, Dr. R. Bentham and Dr. J. Neufeld who donate toiletries throughout the year to our free shelf at the centre. With the help of our volunteers and donors, we have been able to provide assistance over 10,000 times in the past year.

Aside from our free shelf, we provide assistance with legal issues, disability applications, taxes, and information about resources in the area.

Thank you, to a caring community.

Elmie Saaltink

Chair,  Access Society


Harper bashing deserved

Have you noticed all the letters to the editor castigating Harper and the members of the Conservative government?  Nearly every paper has someone taking them to task over one issue or another.

With the single exception of Paul Crossley, who else here voted for the Conservatives in the last two elections?

There must be somebody, because our district voted in our present Conservative MP. Perhaps they have finally realized the gullibility of their decision.

Can’t think of a single good thing to say about our fearless leader?

Frank Martens



Leave casinos alone

So they are after the casinos again and are crying about people who gamble

Let me see, they have a person in every casino in B.C. being paid $45 per hour to tell you gambling is bad for you.

They say they are helping you by signing a piece of paper telling you to keep  out and giving you some papers to make you feel better. I wonder what happened to common sense that you should stay out if you can’t afford to be there.

You are a big kid now or does someone really have to tell you to stay out? Now where is the person in the liquor stores telling you not to drink and drive?

Where is the person that tells you not to smoke? Where is the person that tells you not to buy lottery tickets?

Where are all the pamphlets to warn people of all these evils? So how many gamblers, smokers or lottery ticket buyers have gotten into their cars and smashed their cars up and killed five people? None.

It is always the drunks and yet nobody is in the  liquor store talking about the evils of drinking and driving. I think if anything they should have people in liquor stores and put pamphlets in their purchases.

Why do they always pick on the casinos and yet ignore the rest of the problems. Especially drunk driving.

Doris de Grood



Arts community real winner

I was both surprised and tickled pink, yes, I am sure I blushed and had a hard time believing the call of my name, as everyone in that category of supporter should have been the winner at the inaugural Arts Award Showcase held in the historic Shatford Centre.

All who either go to visual or  performing arts events or support financially the  arts are truly a supporter.  The audience from the very young to the  greying heads, were, like myself, awed at all the categories and scope of each.

These were so ably expanded upon by the gracious, humorous and loquacious Bob Nicholson, master of ceremony.

A large thank you must go to Lynn Allin, administrator of the Penticton and District Arts Council, her staff and the board of directors for getting this show on the road.  Now that takes organization!

To see  in one room so many people, only a few it seemed whom you knew,  getting to know and appreciate what each other do, that was the real winner.

Congratulations Arts Council and sincere appreciation for what you did.

It was a triumph for all,  and fun. We have and we need the arts in our lives.

Donna Schellenberg



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