Heaven just became a whole lot funnier—and the current residents of Paradise Forever had better like poetry because they are in for a bunch of it.
Some of it, not even all that good.
Regardless, Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain as we say farewell to the physical form of Kelowna’s beloved Rev. Albert Baldeo.
As I mentioned to Mayor Sharon Shepherd a few days ago, if anyone ever had a guaranteed reserved seat in heaven, surely it is Albert.
Like many Okanagan residents I had the honour and pleasure of knowing Albert for many, many moons and we shared a variety of conversations together over the years.
The majority of those chats were filled with uplifting comments, humour, and wit – however we also shared a few heart rending moments, hugs and tears.
To say he was an inspiration and a motivation would be as obvious as calling rain wet.
Throughout my younger life I wavered back and forth on my faith and belief in the Supreme Being many of us call God.
A life-threatening and life-altering moment some 20 years ago however affirmed my belief in a greater power.
On several occasions, Albert and I engaged in philosophical discussions about our shared thoughts and while we certainly did not agree on many aspects (I’m not huge on church or organized religion per se), we agreed to disagree and relished in our shared spiritual faith.
(I always wanted to enter a three-way dialogue with Albert and my Anglican Church minister brother – but unfortunately that never occurred).
I remember two particular occasions where I sought out Albert’s wisdom and comfort and on both occasions he invigorated me with a renewed spirit for life and after life.
The latest of those two discussions took place less than three months ago when we discussed facing death in the face.
He ended the conversation with a typical Albert gem.
“I shall most certainly go before you Charlie and as it is said I shall help prepare a place for you.
Don’t hurry – but when you arrive we’ll have a party. And don’t worry – I will not mention a word to Saint Peter that you were a politician.”
Typical Albert – always willing to help and often with a twinkle in his eye.
Thank you for everything you ever did for this community and this world Albert.
You truly made this planet a better place to exist on.
And hopefully, with the grace and forgiveness of God – we will meet again.
The Okanagan Wildlife Recovery Centre Society is in need of someone skilled in writing charitable tax application forms so the group can move ahead with the goal of establishing a wildlife hospital in the area. If you know of someone willing to assist with this please contact me at email@example.com or telephone me at 250-979-7254.
The City of Kelowna wants your input to help create a new downtown plan that will guide development of the downtown core.
The plan will incorporate the entire downtown from Harvey Avenue north to Clement
Avenue and from the lakefront east to Richter Street. The plan looks at land use, public spaces, mobility, and economic factors to support living, working, and playing downtown.
An intensive multi-day facilitated workshop, referred to as a charrette, will take place June 7 to 11, bringing together a broad range of stakeholder groups and interested members of the public.
Residents are encouraged to drop by the Royal Anne Hotel on Bernard Avenue to comment on the concept as it evolves throughout that week.
A public open house will complete the planning process on Saturday, June 11.
A new information sharing blog was launched recently, kelowna.ca/mydowntown, as another means to engage the community in conversation.
The city’s growing social media presence lets residents choose how to interact with the city to stay informed and have their say about the downtown plan through Facebook.com/mydowntownkelowna, or twitter @cityofkelowna using hash tag #mydowntown.
To get involved or learn more, subscribe to e-Updates at Kelowna.ca/mydowntown. For more information, contact: Andrew Gibbs, project manager at 250-469-8836.
Charlie Hodge is a Kelonwa writer.