Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's the Little Things that Hurt

A tiny little insert in the newspaper this morning caused my shoulders to sag.

A large truck was caught last night at midnight doing wheelies over the lawns and flower beds of Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. The damage is about $10,000.

I've just returned from a wonderful two weeks in Victoria and the house i rented was very near Beacon Hill Park. I walked past it every day along the open ocean front of Dallas Road, in my opinion one of the greatest city walks anywhere in the world.

But aside from my sense of personal connection to this small story, the content says so much about our seemingly total abandonment of respect and community and the social compact.

It's often too ugly out there, boys and girls.


Anonymous said...

Capital punishment is the only answer because they bring it on themselves.

Anonymous said...

I too have visited Beacon Hill Park. The gardens are delightful and there are some good playgrounds for the children.

I still remember an ugly incident about twenty years ago. I was a high school senior at an East Vancouver High School. I was a bit on the odd side (ye olde high school misfit), but harmless enough.

As a prank, some of the more popular kids had got together and done a few thousands dollars worth of damage to the outside tennis courts of the high school (which were also used by the community) and one of the Fine Arts classrooms.

When the damage was done and some of the participants in said prank were caught, it was decided by the Administration to ban them from their graduation ceremonies. No criminal charges were laid and no repayment plan was given to the participants or their parents.

They got off easy..

But that's not the end of it....

The participants did not like the fact that their graduation was ruined and set out with a petition to allow them to take part in the ceremonies. When I was approached by one of the participants (a member of student council) - I refused to sign it and refused to support it.

Now I probably could have said "no" in a nicer manner - but being a social clod, I was a bit blunt.

David... so help me... I actually got "booed" at my high school graduation ceremony!! The participants were still allowed to go to the ceremony (as part of the audience) and I actually got booed as I crossed the stage. You would have almost thought that I had damaged the property myself rather than the other way around.

Don't worry - I am not bitter. The "booing" part of the incident was shrugged off and I enjoyed the rest of my evening at the reception with my other misfit friends. I am sure that the people who participated in said "prank" matured and became functioning members of society and I hope that they are all healthy and doing well.

I am relating this story to show that the "total abandonment of respect and community and social impact" has been happening for a long, long time.

I feel the same way about the $10,000 damage to the park as I did about the damage to the school property in 1989. There ain't much money out their for public places, schools, community centers, etc. When damage like this is done - the repairs come out of current budgets and it often means less amenities and services.

The parks belong to all of us for the enjoyment of all of us.

We need to take care of them.

When pranksters, drunks, mischief makers and vandals are caught - charges must be laid and/or repayment must be made.

Linda Yuill

(BTW - if any of the participants recognize this - don't worry - I forgave you twenty years ago). Peace.

Anonymous said...

It's the "moron" factor. Mindless and stupid and usually fueled by booze.

David Berner said...

THat's a great story, Linda. THanks for telling it.

Dave C. said...


Since retiring to the lower mainland (I actually wanted to indicate which part of the lower mainland, but realized that I might be making my family vulnerable, which is scary in itself), I've been taken aback by the extent of vandalism that I have witnessed.

I understand that on weekends the local RCMP "chase kids" in my neighbourhood. What gives? I can tell you it's not lack of money. Lack of parental supervision? Just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

What can I say? Spoiled Canadian kids who get the right to drive too early, 16 is an immature age, and are given expensive presents all the time... When you are taught that you are the "navel of the earth", no wonder you can trample upon others property without any thought.