HANNA PETERSEN PHOTONeil Langille, George Marshall, and Paul Beer stand in front of the gazebo they helped make a reality.

HANNA PETERSEN PHOTONeil Langille, George Marshall, and Paul Beer stand in front of the gazebo they helped make a reality.

Volunteers improve Alert Bay

"Volunteerism is still alive and well."

  • Jul. 26, 2017 11:00 a.m.

Residents and visitors to Alert Bay will be able to enjoy a new gazebo and bench area, thanks to the efforts of a small group of dedicated community volunteers.

Neil Langille, a long standing community member, and former civic counselor completed the projects. Langille is also the holder of the Freedom of the Municipality, which means he was given the “key to the city” for his continuing contributions to the village.

“People like Neil are rare,” said Mayor Michael Berry. “He’s up before anyone else in town wondering why everyone else isn’t up.”

At the Small Craft Harbour, Neil built a rest area for harbour users consisting of a gazebo with benches, fence, and mast flying several local flags, assisted by Alert Bay resident George Marshall. “He was the idea man and did most of the work,” said Marshall.

The project was funded by Paul Beer, who lives in Phoenix Arizona, but has been coming to Alert Bay every summer for over 50 years. “It was an eye sore – it was just a place full of dog poop,” said Beer. “I thought we oughta do something about this, so we agreed to fund it and Neil agreed to do the work.”

At Pepper’s Point, Langille also formed and poured concrete stairs where previous stairs had been washed out by the ocean. “I just like doing the stuff and want to improve the village a bit,” said Langille. To finish the area off he poured a concrete pad and installed a bench.

“Neil quietly putters along and does things that we haven’t gotten around to,” said Berry, adding “volunteerism is still alive and well thanks to the efforts of people like Neil and Paul – how wonderful is that?”

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