From left

RCMP hosts community lunch in McNeill

Port McNeill RCMP hosted an unusual but well-received appreciation luncheon for a wide range of invited community partners and guests.

PORT McNEILL—RCMP detachments are not typically seen as favourable destination spots. At best, visitors may drop by for a background check; at worst, they’re in for questioning or some manner of complaint.

But when the local detachment was overrun by more than 55 people last Thursday, there were smiles all around.

Port McNeill RCMP hosted an unusual but well-received appreciation luncheon, catered by Northern Lights Restaurant, for a wide range of invited community partners and guests in the parking lot of the local station.

The event was the brainchild of Cst. Carl McIntosh.

“I decided we should do something more informal, because whenever we meet with our community partners it seems to be in a formal setting,” said McIntosh. “It’s our way of saying, ‘thank you.'”

Detachment commander Craig Blanchard and other officers and office staff were on hand to welcome guest representing a wide swath of the community. They included Mayor Gerry Furney and members of council; first responders from the B.C. Ambulance Service, Conservation Officer Service and area volunteer firefighters; staff from the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Management; members of civic social organizations; seniors; management/staff from the hospitality industry, and other local entrepreneurs.

“These organizations are all pieces of the puzzle that help keep our community safe and make it liveable,” McIntosh said. “It really shows the solidarity of the community.”

The luncheon took place under a large canopy set up by the Port McNeill Lion’s Club, which proved valuable when scattered light showers occasionally passed through. The lunch featured a wide range of hot dishes and soup, cold sandwiches and salads, drinks and dessert.

“I’d like to see this as an annual event, if possible,” said McIntosh.