Letter to the editor: Family Day: a combined, community effort

The Family Day attendance record ndicates the high esteem this annual occurrence .


In the June 13 edition of the Quesnel Observer, I read the Thank You article published in the editorial column on the paper by the editor regarding the Family Day event.

It read like a breath of fresh air.

The Family Day attendance record also indicates the high esteem this annual occurrence captures from not only the children but from young and old alike.

In her column, Autumn awarded kudos to a number of businesses who helped to make the annual event become a reality

And rightly so.

With Autumn’s permission, I would like to repeat the names of these public-minded businesses named in her article. CN Rail, BC Hydro, Fortis BC, South Quesnel Business Association, Safeway, Save On Foods, Johnston Neighbourhood Association, Mckillican Production Services Ltd., Guru Darbar Sikh Temple, Cariboo Sikh Temple, Early Learning Expo and the City of Quesnel.

After reading Autumn’s column, I was curious to know when and who started the Family Days festivities which have become so popular. My inquiries disclosed our own councillor Sushil Thapar who was first elected to council in November 2002 originated Family Day. I requested an interview with him and he agreed.

Sushil was born August 20, 1967 and is married to Renu.

They have three children: Lucky, Grisha and Amit. All three children were born in Quesnel.

I asked him why he started Family Day.

He said families were his highest priority and he has always been a strong promoter of family values.

Since there was no provision for a family day in Quesnel before his election to council, he had been taking his children to celebrate events similar in Williams Lake and Prince George.

After his election, Sushil decided to change that and introduced the first Family Day to Quesnel October 5, 2003.

Sushil said Family Day would not be possible without the financial support of community businesses and a hard core of volunteers who have offered their time and advice, on a yearly basis since inception to make the Family Day event a reality.

Without hesitation he named the following: Ron and Betty Campbell, Bernice Heinzelman, Sandy Meidlinger, Cathy Juric and to Early Learning Expo, The Air Cadets and the Miss Quesnel organization.

In addition to those named, Sushil said there were more than 400 volunteers who gave their time and effort to make Family Day a bang up success.

Thank you Autumn for your article arousing my curiosity about the birth of Family Day and thanks to the hard-core volunteers and the dedicated 400 volunteers.

Lighter is the task when many volunteers share the load. In my opinion, the citizens of Quesnel owe a special kudos to Councillor Sushil Thapar, who transformed his vision of a Family Day from wishful thinking to reality.

He was originally and remains the originator and ramrod  behind the success of the Family Day extravaganza.

With his reputation, Shall I say frugal, you can count on the money spent on his and out Family Day to be well spend and accounted for.

May Family Day continue for years to come.

Ken Butchard



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