Her Honour, the Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, paid a visit to the mountain town of Rossland on Tuesday and she loved every minute of it.
“It started with breakfast, with an amazing group of people, with ideas that are Earthshaking literally. It’s an unusual community,” she said at the closing point of her time in Rossland.
The Lieutenant Governor was born in Montreal, Quebec and raised on a farm near Hawkesbury Ontario.
In 1972, Guichon moved to British Columbia, where she played an active role in the farming and agriculture community. The Guichon family has been farming in the Nicola Valley of B.C. since 1878.
Her Honour has studied Holistic Management, a field that promotes sustainable management of livestock by emphasizing their natural habitat. Along with her late husband, Lawrence, she has made a significant impact on the ranchers of B.C. by introducing them to this holistic style of agriculture.
Due to Her Honour’s background in agriculture, farming and the outdoors in general, a large part of her message was that of conservation and respecting our planet, of which we only get one.
Throughout her time in Rossland, her most prominent visits were to the various schools. Her first stop was made at ecole des Sept-sommets.
Here she spread the word of conservation and how important the living aspects of our Earth are.
The children were fully prepared for Her Honour’s visit and had two songs in French, which they proudly sung before her.
After the children had sung, it was question period and nearly every hand shot up in the gymnasium.
“Do you ever regret becoming Lieutenant Governor?” asked one student.
“Not for a minute,” Guichon replied, “I’ve been in a submarine and spoken with astronauts, does it get much better than that?”
Her Honour then traveled to Seven Summits Centre for Learning where they provided her with several small gifts of chocolate, provided a tour and update on what it is they do at this alternative learning facility.
Everything went smoothly that a little extra time was available for Guichon to see the city’s courthouse and various landmarks and views.
“Whenever I meet other people and talk about the province I can talk about Rossland,” she said, “and say ‘did you know this was happening in Rossland?”
The final stop for B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor was made at the Rossland Summit School where the children put on a performance on a grand scale.
In keeping with the theme of preserving our land and it’s animals, students sung songs from the classic Dr. Seuss tale, The Lorax.
Packaged together in this performance by students of all ages, was interpretive dance, a singing of God Save the Queen and various talent performances.
Her Honour was blown away by all that Rossland had done for her small visit and applauded not only the children that performed for her, but the leadership that made it all possible.
However it was not only the people of Rossland showing Her Honour what they could do, Guichon spoke with each crowd of children on the duties of Lieutenant Governor, why it is important to be involved politically, and why we need to be respectful of the lands we live on.
The students were surprisingly knowledgeable about the inner workings of government and Guichon was filled with glee when they named off previous Lieutenant Governors without missing so much as a beat.
Before her departure, she left several books with the school libraries as a donation, for which they were grateful.
Her Honour’s parting words for Rossland were of respect and admiration.
“[Rossland is] a community full of vital energy and vigorous community spirit. There is lots of young entrepreneurial activity going on and things that not a lot of people are aware of. Who knew, you could do it here?”
Guichon, up to speed on her Rossland trivia was of course referencing councilor Andrew Zwicker’s podcasts, ‘You can do that here.’
Her Honour continued. “Everywhere you go, the education opportunities are endless. It’s a combination of heritage and adventurous beginnings.”