The Cowichan Lake Community Services Society is renaming its building after its long-time executive director Carol Blatchford. Pictured, from left, are representatives Amanda Sawatzky, Gerry Knox, Colleen Olson and Melaina Patenaude. (Robert Barron/Gazette)

Lake Cowichan’s Carol Blatchford to be honoured in building renaming

Blatchford was executive director of community services society for decades

Carol Blatchford will soon be honoured for her 32 years of service to the Cowichan Lake Community Services Society.

The non-profit society intends to rename its building on Point Ideal Road after Blatchford, the long-time executive director of the CLCS before her retirement in June.

The society provides programs and facilities to the people of the Cowichan Lake area intended to enhance and support the quality of their lives through education, prevention, recreation, counselling and support groups.

Amanda Sawatzky, a family therapist who has been with CLCS for 27 years, said it’s only fitting to rename the building after Blatchford considering all the work she did to access funding and galvanize the community to help construct it in the late 1990s, as well as all the other work she has done over the years.

RELATED STORY: LOOKOUT HOUSING AND HEALTH SOCIETY CHOSEN TO PROVIDE HARM-REDUCTION SERVICES IN COWICHAN

“Renaming the building after her is a way to honour her many contributions to this community,” Sawatzky said.

“This building was first conceived under Carol’s leadership. She managed to find some government money, and funding from the Vancouver Foundation, Telus plus lots of donations from the community, including time and labour, to build it. Even the architect who designed the building donated his time.”

Gerry Knox, who has been the officer manager at CLCS for 27 years, said Blatchford was loved and respected by all the organization’s workers, volunteers and clients.

She said Blatchford isn’t being told that the building will be named after her until the last moment, and it’s hoped she will be pleasantly surprised.

“Carol created a work environment where people wanted to be employed, and the number of long-term staff here is a testament to her leadership,” Knox said.

“It was great to work with her and she definitely needs to be recognized for her contributions to the CLCS and the community.”

Blatchford has been replaced with Melaina Patenaude as executive director of the CLCS, who she handpicked for the position herself before she retired.

RELATED STORY: SCHOOL DISTRICT ADDS VOICE TO OPPOSITION TO DUNCAN LOCATION OF NEW WELLNESS AND RECOVERY CENTRE

Patenaude, who graduated with a masters degree in community development in Alberta and has a background in nutrition, has worked with the United Way with homeless strategies in Nanaimo and Duncan, among other initiatives, before taking over her new position in June.

She said she has lots of ideas to bring to the table at CLCS.

“We have this huge, amazing building that’s underutilized and there are a number of things that could work here,” Patenaude said.

“We have a commercials kitchen, but no permit for it to operate, so I’m working with [Island Health] to get the permit reinstated. Members of the community can then use the kitchen as needed. I have a background in dietetics so I’m also looking at sprucing up the back yard and introducing garden boxes to grow food. Working with their hands in the soil will help some of our clients in therapy programs, and fresh food can be grown there for local use as well.”

Patenaude said the CLCS also has a 15-seat “fun” bus that hasn’t operated since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but it could be rented to community groups and other organizations as long as health protocols are followed.

“I’m also looking at some enhancements and upgrades for the building, which is getting older,” she said.

“The more fresh it is, the more people will feel at home here. I’m really going to enjoy working here.”

Patenaude said if any members of the public have any suggestions for the CLCS, they can email comserve@comserve.org.

Community

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian standout is Rotary Student of the Month for September

Ben Williams has made an impression at DCS since day one

Cowichan LMG’s Michael Fusick plows through a Nanaimo defender during last Friday’s game at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Depth a concern for Cowichan LMG

Div. 1 club expecting reinforcements soon

The City of Duncan is applying to the province for a grant that would cover most of the costs of the new Cairnsmore roundabout that is planned the intersection of Government, College and Cairnsmore streets. (File photo)
City of Duncan looking to grant to cover cost of Cairnsmore traffic circle

Federal government would cover 60%, province would pick up the other 40%.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read