Tofitian councillors were angry at their Ucluetian neighbours for installing this sign at the junction in 2013.

Behest of the West: We argue because we’re family

I called dad on Father’s Day and got the answering machine. Argument averted.

My dad has always wanted a boat. He would have sailed away on one too if it weren’t for us meddling kids.

Welcoming his two beautiful, adorable, wonderful children into the world meant spending his paycheques on things we wanted and the only boats we asked for could fit in his pocket.

His current possessions weren’t safe from sacrifice either. His gorgeous gold 1980’s Cadillac transformed into a white mini van that could fit soccer balls, baseball bats and teammates.

About a year after my son was born, I masterfully managed to convince my partner that a boat would fit within our budget. We got as far as a down payment before learning we were pregnant again. Our boat plans were officially sunk when we found out they were twins.

Within a week of Crimson and Clover’s arrival, I visited a car dealership in Duncan where I’d been eyeing a gorgeous red pick-up born in the ‘80’s and brought home a safe, airbag-filled, orange mini van.

I realize now how happy dad was to watch his boat plans sail away and his Cadillac drive off. Being a dad means trading your money for smiles, but it’s not your kids’ smiles you’re trading for. Ohana means family and broken boat dreams are a byproduct of blissful responsibility.

Sacrifice is simple though; ohana is not.

I called dad on Father’s Day and got the answering machine. Argument averted.

My conversations with him have been arguments since I was 10.

We’re both the same height now, but still don’t see eye-to-eye and the evolution of our arguing continues. Somewhere along the way, a rivalry was born in my imagination.

I refuse to give dad a reason to think he’s better than me at anything and that refusal forces me to set high standards for myself. He’s not an easy man to top.

He’s convinced an amazing woman to stay married to him for 43 years and raised two kids who love the heck out of him. Besting him is a tough road, but handling the potholes along it makes me a better person.

Regardless of how you spent Father’s Day, there’s someone in your life you love and argue loudly with. I encourage you to plug into the inspiring charge they create.

Tofino and Ucluelet have been arguing since before many of us arrived here. The West Coast means family and there’s angst in every ohana.

The first annual FEAST! Tofino-Ucluelet arrived in 2011 and became the second annual FEAST! Tofino in 2012. The not-so-subtle name change was noticed in Ucluelet.

When a new Ucluelet welcome sign popped up, that not-so-subtle feature was noticed in Tofino.

“Now I see this huge sign at the junction,” began Tuff Coun. Dorothy Baert during a July 2013 regular meeting, “There’s conversations about neighbourliness, and all the rest of it, but it’s not being embraced or showcased well.”

Ucluelet’s Midnight Madness and Tofino’s Jingle into Christmas collided in 2013 when Ucluelet’s merchant committee moved their event up a week.

“We were quite caught off guard and disappointed, as you can imagine, to hear Ucluelet merchants had chosen the same weekend,” lamented then executive director of Tofino’s chamber of commerce Gord Johns at the time. “Everyone’s a loser at the end of the day…The pie was just cut down significantly.”

For the first time anyone could remember, we didn’t honour Remembrance Day together last year. It was Ucluelet’s turn to host but Tofino didn’t come.

Once a race from town to town, the Edge-to-Edge Marathon hasn’t included Tofino since 2013.

We can sweep our angst under the rug and talk about love until our faces turn as blue as the ocean we share, but our arguments have created a rivalry in our imaginations.

We both live in paradise but still don’t see eye-to-eye and I encourage us to plug into the inspiring charge we create.  We argue because we’re family.


Andrew Bailey is the editor of the Westerly News. You can find his weekly column ‘Behest of the West’ on page 4 of our print edition every Wednesday.

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