Port Alberni has been the focus of the national and international scene this week, on three different fronts.
Both of Port Alberni’s Rotary clubs this week welcomed 12 delegates from the Rotary Club of Buriram in Buriram Province, Thailand. The city’s international guests will be here until Wednesday on a Rotary Friendship Exchange, before departing for southern Vancouver Island and then Washington State. The delegates spent Monday touring around the city, particularly the Maritime Discovery Centre and Harbour Quay.
We hope the delegates have enjoyed our city’s hospitality and bring back many good memories when they return to Thailand.
Last Friday, Coulson Aviation set the Canadian aviation world a-buzz with the arrival of its first 737 Fireliner jet, which will be one of six converted to an air tanker for aerial firefighting. It was the third jet to arrive at Port Alberni’s regional airport in a week—Coulson also brought in a 727 and another 737 painted in its old Southwest Airlines livery.
Canadian Skies magazine touted Coulson’s conversion program as “potentially game-changing” due to the size of the 4,000-gallon tanks. Wayne Coulson said he will seek potential firefighting contracts for the aircraft in North America, South America and Europe for 2018, once the conversion program is complete.
The company is also gaining a name for its C-130 aircraft conversion program.
Also on the national scene, and even closer to home, was the return of a group of 24 sea and army cadets from a cultural exchange to Naujaat, Nunavut. The northern town, with a population of about 700, opened its collective arms to the Port Alberni cadet contingent, and made them feel at home—especially since a blizzard kept the group stranded up north for an extra couple of days.
Cadets and staff both said it was a life-changing experience for them, and the people of Naujaat have a new respect for the people of Port Alberni.
These events serve to remind us it’s easy to become insular in our thinking, that nobody is noticing Port Alberni and the surrounding Valley. But they are. And they have good things to say about us.
— Alberni Valley News