Some members of Cobble Hill's Arbutus Ridge seaside community took leadership roles in the construction of its new dock, including, from left, Jurgen Duewel, Debbie Macdonald, Mike Hall and Zav Patel. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

New $1.5-million dock opens at Arbutus Ridge

Facility completed in time for community's 30th anniversary festivities

There were smiles all around at Cobble Hill’s Arbutus Ridge community on Jan. 31 as Scottish bagpiper Rod Burgen led dozens of residents onto their newly installed dock.

marina opened

The official opening of the new $1.5-million dock was the culmination of years of effort by the residents of the 30-year-old seaside neighbourhood.

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Cliff Sweeney, a resident volunteer at Arbutus Ridge who attended the dock’s opening ceremony, said the community came together to see the project to its completion.

“The last dock lasted 30 years and we’re confident that this one will be here for up to 50 years,” he said.

“We take great pride in this. The previous dock was just wide and big enough for boats, but this is a people’s dock because it’s so much wider and residents can fish off it and even throw parties here.”

The original dock at Arbutus Ridge, one of Canada’s first gated adult-style communities, was a wooden float purchased from the Vancouver Expo 86 site with four large propane storage tanks providing basic wave protection.

While the dock served the community well for many years, its usefulness had come to an end.

So over the past few years, it had become a high priority among the residents of Arbutus Ridge to design and build new marina facilities.

Boats ranging in size from more than 50 feet, down to small kayaks are owned by many Arbutus Ridge residents, so having versatile and dedicated marine facilities was considered a must.

Jurgen Duewel, a past president of the community, said that after reviewing a number of proposals, a final design was approved by the residents and then engineered and refined by Herold Engineering and North-West Hydraulics.

He said Cowichan Bay’s Pacific Industrial Marine was awarded the construction contract.

“The dock is a super design and was also economical,” Duel said.

“There were some mechanical hiccups and problems with the weather during construction, but we now have a dock everyone in the community can enjoy. I heard one guy say he couldn’t wait just to sit on it with a glass of wine and watch the world go by.”

The resort-style community that also boasts an award-winning 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, library and swimming pool has been described as one of Canada’s best retirement communities for active adults.

It is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer, and the new dock is expected to play a big part in the festivities.

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