COLUMN: Someone is keeping Cloverdale’s statues warm this winter

This week we solve a local mystery – and give a shout out to Surrey mayor Linda Hepner

This week, we gratefully remove our toque to the person who knitted the scarves keeping three Cloverdale statues along 176 Street warm this winter.

The trio, Moments in Time by Paul Slipper, a stone sculptor, consists of granite statues reflecting Cloverdale’s history inspired by real-life models.

One is resident Penny Smyth in a Stetson, reflecting the importance of the Cloverdale Rodeo, the second is an Interurban motorman modeled on the late Frank Horne, who can be seen checking his watch, and the third is a casually-attired guy in a baseball hat, T-shirt and jeans – a nod to the importance of agriculture to Cloverdale, according to the description.

The scarves were neatly and carefully wrapped around the statues some time by late November and have somehow weathered the busy Christmas shopping season in the historic downtown intact.

According to Kathi Nicholson, a former sales representative of the Cloverdale Reporter who now co-owns Retro Mod Consignment on 176 Street, the scarves were knitted and donated by a friend – the sister of the model of one of the figures: Mike Burns, the guy in the ball cap. A “crazy knitter,” the good Samaritan  lives in Powell River, where she hatched a plan to do something special for Cloverdale when she came to visit late last year.

“This is my brother,” she reasoned, according to Nicholson. “I didn’t want them to get cold.” honoured

We’d like to acknowledge an important milestone for Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.

At the Jan. 11 council meeting, she was presented with a service pin recognizing her three decades of service to the city of Surrey. It’s a small gesture that marks a remarkable career arc.

Hepner started out as an executive assistant in the city manager’s office in 1985, eventually branching out to a variety of positions, including business development officer, manager of corporate administration and manager of economic development.

She was elected as a city councillor in 2005, a position she held until becoming mayor in 2014.

Mike Jones, who hired her 30 years ago, wrote a letter commending Hepner for her “outstanding performances in a variety of roles.”

It’s testament to Hepner’s talent, dedication and abilities that she’s come so far. Her journey from the executive assistant’s desk to the centre seat in council chambers – at the helm of Canada’s fastest-growing city – provides a strong example to girls and women across the county who might be mulling over a career in public service.

It also speaks to the opportunities that are available at city hall for someone hoping to advance.

Congratulations, Your Worship. To both the mayor and the city: thank you for promoting women and letting them dream.

– Jennifer Lang is editor of the Cloverdale Reporter


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