The good, the bad, the pitch

Highs and lows from the Coastal Community Credit Union in recent weeks.

Fair warning, valued reader: the editorial to follow will depart slightly from our traditional format. The remainder of this column will include elements of congratulation, criticism and self-serving plug.

Yet these divergent elements are all, in the end, related. For better or worse. In any case, on with the show …

First, congratulations to our three local winners of Coastal Community Credit Union scholarships. Port Hardy’s Alisha MacDonald, Port McNeill’s Andrew Mitchell and Sointula’s Jenna Cowan were among only eight students Island-wide to earn the $2,000 contributions toward their post-secondary education.

If MacDonald and Mitchell seem familiar names to our readers, it is with good reason. Both served as our student columnists during the recently completed school year, Mitchell at North Island Secondary School and MacDonald at Port Hardy Secondary. MacDonald actually served as columnist for two school years, first in a joint effort with two other classmates and eventually as a solo writer.

While recognizing their respective academic achievements, we’d also like to take this opportunity to give MacDonald and Mitchell a public thank-you for contributing to the Gazette’s coverage of local issues and people. Good work, and best of luck in your post-secondary efforts.

Cowan is no stranger to scholarships, having received essentially a full ride to Vancouver Island University. Still, we are heartened to see her awarded a bit of CCCU largesse at the same moment the credit union has laid off its Sointula branch staff as part of permanent closures at branches there, in Alert Bay and on Cortes Island.

For members in those three communities who claim the institution has lost sight of its mandate as a member-owned cooperative, these scholarship awards show CCCU still knows how to provide community service.

Regrettably, the credit union seems rather inconsistent in applying that service. We’re just glad it awarded Cowan’s scholarship before noticing her community is no longer part of its portfolio.

But, hey! Speaking of high-achieving students, did you notice both of our secondary school columnists have graduated? We’ll be looking for contributors from NISS and PHSS this fall, and would be glad to hear from you if you’re interested in a chance to get a start in journalism or simply enjoy writing.

If you’re interested, contact us at editor@northislandgazette.com or speak to your administrators or teacher this September. Assuming, of course, there is a school year in the fall. The ongoing dispute between the BCTF and the BCPSEA is … oops, out of space.

Perhaps we’ve covered enough ground for one week.