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Honouring a pioneer


Dear editor,Business development may be the engine that drives community sustainability, but the availability of quality leisure infrastructure and activity defines its values.

Investors consider a community, in large measure, for the quality of life, as defined by the level of its leisure and recreation.

Kevin waterman has been the pioneer manager of Gander’s quality of life elements for nearly three decades. He will be retiring from that position on July 20. It is not an easy position to manage, given the differing demands and views of the citizens, along with the competition for dollars in other areas of community development.

Kevin is well-known and well-respected far and wide — around the province and across Canada. His well-researched philosophy balances the aspects of competition and participation. That is why Gander can boast successful athletes (see Sports Hall of Fame/Archives and recent achievements), as well as general leisure items for the rest of the community — young and old.

His legacy includes, but is not limited to, parks (including the kids’ water spray park, which he was promoting as early as 1997), neighbourhood playgrounds, trails, walking track, and SHOFA at the Gander Community Centre. The many attractions (Don Bartlett Curling Classic, National Women’s Hockey Team, International and American Hockey League games, major conventions and trade shows, are to name just a few), which have occurred as a direct result of those facilities, have also benefitted the business community.

Hopefully, his vision will continue as Gander moves towards the redevelopment of the Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park and development of the multiplex centre, which would further greatly enhance the quality of life for residents of Gander and area.

It would be entirely appropriate to acknowledge Kevin waterman’s significant legacy in some tangible manner at this time. A room at the Gander Community centre could be named in his honour, or a park or an event could bear his name. There may very well be other possibilities, but perhaps the most fitting and enduring acknowledgment to most effectively embody Kevin’s vision and contribution would be the renaming of the Town’s Spirit Award. The Kevin Waterman Spirit Award has a nice ring to it. 

 Wayne Penney

Gander

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