PORT McNEILL—Though turnout was limited by the day and time scheduled, there was plenty of enthusiasm as Mount Waddington Transit celebrated five years of bus service on North Vancouver Island July 2.
Representatives from B.C. Transit, the Regional District of Mount Waddington and the Mount Waddington Health Network were among those on hand at Gate House Community Theatre for the 1 p.m. cake-cutting and other activities.
“I’d have to say the day went very well,” said Mary Mavis, manager of Mount Waddington Transit. “The event was at midday, so you can’t expect a ton of people, but we wanted to hold the celebration on the day of the anniversary.”
Mount Waddington Transit began service on July 2, 2008, with funding secured in part through Vancouver Island Health Authority and subsidies from B.C. Transit.
Alyson Hagan-Johnson, who was instrumental in helping start the service in her role as chair of the health network, spoke to the crowd assembled, and RDMW administrator Greg Fletcher presented a slideshow documenting the growth of the system since it was launched, including the additions of weekend runs between Port McNeill and Port Hardy and seasonal weekend trips to Mount Cain Ski Area.
Mavis was presented a bouquet by B.C. Transit, and then guests retired to the theatre for the main event — a short film on the local bus system, produced by youths from the local teen centre.
“The film was a huge hit,” said Mavis. “They went all-out; Visions (Learning Centre) even did the hair and makeup of the cast and crew, at no charge.”
As Mount Waddington Transit looks ahead to its next five years of service on the North Island, Mavis is pleased to have marked its first half-decade with this month’s ceremony.
“So many were skeptical this would even happen,” she said. “We’ve proven it was needed in our community and we’ve proven it can be successful.”