The snow was falling and the wind was blustering, but that didn’t keep hundreds of proud Williams Lake residents from coming down to the Memorial Complex to celebrate our proud past, and the bright future that lies ahead for our wonderful city.
I enjoyed cutting the delicious birthday cake and watched so many delightful performances by Williams Lake residents throughout the day. The family dance was also quite entertaining. But the highlight of the entire evening was the chance I had to meet and talk with so many inspiring people and community leaders who have shaped and built the city.
Williams Lake has accomplished so much in 85 years. Beginning with the Pacific Great Eastern Railway roaring through the Cariboo, our city has had quite the exciting and eventful history.
We are proud to keep our rural traditions alive such as the annual Williams Lake Stampede, being one of the largest outdoor events in the interior. Our city has produced so many talented and creative artists, musicians and poets who tell the stories, and paint the landscapes of our wonderful region.
Famous Williams Lake residents have also put our city on the map, including the ever-inspiring Rick Hanson and Carey Price who made us so proud in the Olympics and currently one of the biggest stars for the Canadiens in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
I would like to say thank you to all of the volunteers and organizers who made the event so successful, bringing all of us together to celebrate Williams Lake. But the birthday party is not over yet, as celebrations will continue over the summer and fall at community events.
Happy birthday, Williams Lake. I know the next 85 years will be just as great!
Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.