Recent History – 2001
May 23, 2001
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Joan Shayler is moving up within the Salvation Army, but she’ll also be moving on.
Shayler was recently promoted from captain to major, but she’s also been posted to Fernie as of June 25.
In the two years she’s been here, Shayler has had her share of achievements and challenges.
The achievements include the fall food blitz that brought in 10,000 pounds of food for the Salvation Army food bank and St. Mark’s Ecumenical food bank, and moving the family services centre out of the church and into an office next to the Thrift Store on 103rd.
Prime among the challenges has been the fall-out from ongoing delay in re-opening the Thrift Store after serious structural problems were found.
One consequence will be combining the family services centre and the Thrift Store into one location until the work next door is completed. It will mean that the food bank will be cut back to Thursday and Fridays.
Will she miss Dawson Creek? As with many who move on, yes and no.
“It’s sad and happy,” she said. “There are certain people that you hate to be parting from and there’s other people that you’re content you don’t have to be dealing with them anymore.”
Shayler said the promotion simply means that she’s been in the Salvation Army for 20 years and has completed all the requirements to become a major.
Over that time, Shayler has lived in her share of towns: Estevan, High River, Yellowknife, North Battleford, two of the Hazeltons.
“I think the thing to remember is that people are generally the same everywhere,” she said. “It’s just that community make-ups are a little bit different, depending on what the population is, depending on what the economics are, depending on what the chief resources in the area are.”
Shayler said she’s found that Dawson Creek has been gracious to people who have disabilities.
“I think a lot of people have found Dawson Creek a comfortable place to be because of that, they’ve been accepted,” she said. “And acceptance is the number one thing that people need.”
Shayler will be taking over a slightly bigger operation in Fernie, a ski town located in the Kootenays. Along with a church and a family services centre, there are two Thrift Stores in Fernie.
Shayler said she’s been caught in a shuffle prompted by several retirements within the Salvation Army. The new officers will not be known for a couple of weeks, but they’re scheduled to arrive here July 20.