Our Active Community
By Kristy Herron
© Jonathan Riley photo
Mark Thibault of Weymouth has been volunteering at the corner of Water and Sydney streets since the first Wharf Rat Rally in 2005.
It has been said you can never truly go back, because what you remember is shaded with the rose coloured glasses of time.
Our memories play tricks on our perceptions. The general store that was large and full of so many wondrous things is now quite diminutive compared to what we recall, but was it that we were small and everything was big?
All too often we spend a lot of time looking back when we should be moving forward. Our energy is much better focused on what to do to bring changes or opportunities.
That is what the committees that created, planned and organized our marvelous summer have done—festivals old and new bringing tourists here to share our hospitality, our vision and our dreams.
The Wharf Rat Rally seems even better and bigger than last year. Some visitors who do not have motorcycles are arriving just to witness the spectacle and partake in all the events. Promotion is a key part of this event as it is everything else.
I vividly remember that when I first moved here, a clerk in a local business told me nothing much went on here and that there was not much to see and do. The ‘do’ part has definitely changed, although the assets that were there then exist now. The big difference is that we are now promoting ourselves in a positive and proactive way.
We even have volunteers coming from outside of our immediate area to help. As I had to go to the Moncton area for other reasons, I used the trek to ensure that a lady who has been active in the rally’s volunteer aspect since it began could do so once again. She would have come anyway as she believes this to be a special part of her year.
On the way to New Brunswick, I noticed a large number of motorcycles headed in the opposite direction. When I stopped at the Nova Scotia border Visitor information Centre for a mid-drive respite, I overheard many conversations about Digby and the Wharf Rat Rally. Some had been planning this trip for an entire year based on what they had heard from others who had been here or were coming.
It was also my privilege to volunteer at the rally registration desk with some folks who relocated here to retire. As part of their commitment to their new home, they are investing time in this event for the good of our community.
We have to know what we have and what we can bring to others. Like these new citizens there continues to be a need to rekindle the pride in our area that once made us the envy of many other communities. In years gone by, there was some grumbling about noise and crowds, but not so much any more, as even detractors are now seeing the value of this economic enhancement.
Although I am writing this long before the end of the weekend, if the first bit is any indication organizers have a lot to be proud of and should be given much deserved credit for all their dedication behind the scenes. They have worked hard and it is obvious they have succeeded. Well done!