In the summer of 2011, Art Dumaresq made the decision not to run in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) elections in the fall, after 12 years as director for Area H.
Although he had enjoyed his time with the CRD, the accounting business he and his wife, Judy, operate has expanded in recent years and his position as a director entailed many hours of travel and meetings. He also wanted more time to enjoy family and friends at his home on Canim Lake.
Art’s lifelong love of bookkeeping began when most boys’ interest in money has to do with buying candy.
“I’ve been a bean counter since I was eight years old. My means of income at the time was a paper route.
“I created a journal. Every day, I wrote down the date, sales and income. If I bought a chocolate bar the next day, I put down the kind, cost and my balance. I kept that going until high school.”
Art grew up in Mission, in a family of seven brothers. All took extensive music lessons. By their late teens, they were performing in their own bands.
Art’s brother, Lorne, started a band called The Orbitones. It became a very popular dance band in the Lower Mainland. Art played drums and sang with his own band called the Hyhats.
When he joined the Orbitones later on, there were four brothers in the group. The band played every weekend from 1964 to 1979, at many venues, including corporate and sports dances, as well as an astounding 450 weddings.
When Art graduated from high school in 1963, he worked at Whonnock Lumber and then decided it was time to venture into the business world. He bought a new suit and shoes and walked the streets of Vancouver, dropping resumes off, hoping to obtain general office work.
His persistence paid off with a job as a copy runner at the Vancouver Sun where he was a gofer for many well-known newspaper people. He went on to work for some of the largest corporations on the Coast. At the same time he continued with accounting courses.
In 1964, he began working with computers using basic programming. From the beginning, he was excited about the new technology.
“I loved the challenges. Every time I started at a new place, the books would be in a mess. They’d be using old record-keeping methods and I’d straighten it all out.
“Once everything was in order and there were no challenges left, I was ready to move on.”
Art and Judy were married in 1965. In the ‘70s, they began to vacation at Canim Lake.
In 1984, they purchased property at the old Jens sawmill site. Art built a small cabin, which has grown over the years into a large home with a wing that houses garages and a spacious office. Art enjoys fine woodworking, which is evident in his house and decks.
The Dumaresqs had planned to winter in Arizona, but found they were too young for the retired life. They decided to become involved in their new community. Art joined the 94 Lions Club, the Community Hall Committee, the Legion and started a snowmobile club.
In 1999, a neighbour urged him to run in the upcoming CRD election. Art set about organizing a successful campaign.
He welcomed his duties as director of Area H. He was the Finance Committee chair, served on the Airport Commission, chaired the South Cariboo Caucus and was a member of the Joint South Cariboo Council and the Pool Committee.
During his time in office, Art worked tirelessly for his constituents who often said, “If Art can’t help you directly, he’ll be able to refer you to someone who can.”
He lists the following as significant achievements: funding for the Forest Grove Community Hall, streetlights at dangerous intersections at South Canim and at Spurrway Road; support for a share shed at the Forest Grove refuse facility; Grants in Aid for many groups; library signage; and the Noise Control Bylaw that deals with barking dogs, industrial noise from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and loud parties.
Art tells of a man who approached him after a public hearing and thanked him for initiating the Noise Control Bylaw.
“He said it brought him peace after 15 years of torment caused by a neighbour’s dogs. This one man made all my work and effort worthwhile.”
However, in the end, Art says he’s just a bean counter.